This article was originally written for Indymedia
I don’t intend to list the outrages that Fianna Fail has perpetrated in yesterday’s budget. We all have scars to show each other. And let’s leave the bank bailout for the moment (but everything about it is one more argument for immediate nationalisation).
Let’s get to the heart of the matter. What was this budget all about? Closing the deficit this year by a couple of percentage points? Proving our machismo to the international markets (if wiping 8 percent off the gross income of an average-income couple with two small children or abolishing the Christmas bonus isn’t macho enough, I don’t what will satisfy foreign hedge funds)?
The whole point of this budget is that, whatever happens (mass unemployment, increasing poverty, a hollowing out of our enterprise base, degrading an already degraded infrastructure), we must ensure, at all costs, that by 2013 the number that appears in the line item ‘General Government Deficit as a % of GDP’ is -3 percent or less. It’s that simple. Nothing else matters. -3 is the magic number. People can eat stale cake.