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Archive for December 16th, 2012

In pre-Abolition America, it was practice for slaves to marry amongst themselves, but not to partners on the same plantation. Spouses didn’t want to live a life where they would see their beloved abused and humiliated . So to avoid the heartbreak, slaves would avoid finding a partner on the same plantation even though it meant that husband and wife would be separated for six out of seven days a week.  New welts and bruises might still be obvious on Sundays but would go unprobed.

The last time that analogy from antebellum America was used on here, there was some valid criticism, so this time out, to be clear it is the principle of the matter that is being used.

Having a daily record with video streaming and transcripts of Seanad Eireann is deeply humiliating and heartbreaking in a country which is pinned to the collar. Watching vastly-rewarded ignorant, ill-informed windbags besmirch Irish democracy when the country is on its knees is just heartbreaking.

So don’t watch it, might be the obvious response. But on occasion, the Seanad deals with NAMA issues and it is almost obligatory to peer your head around the door, in case the handful of decent senators in the Seanad actually contributes something new or constructive.

BrianOWhoCares

Not so this week when the Fianna Fail Donegal senator Brian Ó Domhnaill (pictured above) had this contribution to gift to democracy.

“Linked to that is the issue of the massive salaries being paid to bankers in this country, including salaries of more than €200,000 per annum being paid to 12 senior officials in the National Asset Management Agency, NAMA. NAMA is an interesting organisation. We tried to bring forward a Bill dealing with transparency in NAMA but it was voted down by Fine Gael and the Labour Party. I hope they will reconsider their position when they hear what I say next and that they will support the Bill when we re-introduce it. Officials are leaving NAMA as well as joining it. Two senior officials that were involved in the HSBC violation, in which that bank repeatedly violated anti-moneylaundering rules and accepted billions of dollars from drug cartels resulting in it having to pay the US Government €2 billion, are now employed by NAMA.

Second, I refer to two senior officials that were previously employed by NAMA. One of them was responsible for handing out a very lucrative contract to a high profile commercial property asset management group. He has now been given a private arrangement with that company and is employed by it. NAMA is acting disgracefully and it is time it was fully investigated. I hope the Fine Gael and Labour Party Senators will support the Bill that Senator Mark Daly brought forward previously and which Fianna Fáil will re-introduce. How can a Government stand over the very questionable practices of an organisation that is the biggest property owner in the world?”

And what was wrong with the above, you might ask?

Where do you start. Firstly it has been established that there are 12 staff at NAMA earning more than €200,000 but inclusive of employer pension contribution which ranges from 11-25% and “other allowances and benefits” but that is not the same as saying 12 are on basic salaries of €200,000.  But you might carp at this and say in principle, there are large salaries paid at NAMA which many people would accept.

But then Senator O’Domhnaill goes on to say

“Two senior officials that were involved in the HSBC violation, in which that bank repeatedly violated anti-moneylaundering rules and accepted billions of dollars from drug cartels resulting in it having to pay the US Government €2 billion, are now employed by NAMA”

We know that Michael Geoghegan, former boss worldwide for HSBC has been engaged by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to chair the NAMA advisory board, one of Minister Noonan’s toys that has an overall budget of €40,000 per annum and which also comprises Frank Daly and Denis Rooney. But this is not “in the employ of NAMA”. It is in the employ of Minister Noonan and €40,000 amongst three members is pretty miniscule.

And then, there is Brendan McDonagh – the lad on the right of the image below – who was boss of HSBC in North America and was also cited in the recent US Senate report which concluded HSBC had enabled moneylaundering to the benefit of Mexican drug cartels and the state of Iran. This Brendan McDonagh is employed on an “advisory committee” of the NTMA. Not NAMA. He has been confused in the past with the CEO of NAMA – the lad on the left in the image below, whose name is also Brendan McDonagh, but they are two different people.

And then the Senator says

“Second, I refer to two senior officials that were previously employed by NAMA. One of them was responsible for handing out a very lucrative contract to a high profile commercial property asset management group. He has now been given a private arrangement with that company and is employed by it”

We know that Kevin Nowlan recently left NAMA to return to the family business, WK Nowlan and we also know WK Nowlan is employed by NAMA on its panel of receivers and indeed has received some commissions and was previously employed on NAMA’s valuation panel when it was acquiring loans from the banks. But Kevin Nowlan wasn’t within a ass’s roar of “handing out a very lucrative contract” and in fact we know that there was some agonizing going on at NAMA to ensure that Kevin’s stake in WK Nowlan was placed in trust to avoid even the perception of conflicts.

Alas, Senator Ó Domhnaill didn’t manage to say anything about the second of the “two senior officials”

There was no comment forthcoming from NAMA last Thursday when asked about this episode, but we learn from Friday’s Independent and today’s Sunday Independent that NAMA has sent a stiff letter to the Senator. The Sunday Independent claims to have seen the letter – it hasn’t yet been seen on here but it’s likely to be similar in content to the corrections above. Senator Ó Domhnaill says that the letter is, says the Sunday Independent, “aggressive” and “an attempted gagging order”, but the Senator doesn’t admit his ignorant claims.

This is the second time this year when Seanad proceedings have been covered on here. The first was in June 2012 when serial alleger Senator Mark Daly brought his Bill to promote transparency to the Seanad and although there is a lot to be said for more transparency at NAMA, the Fianna Fail Kerry senator keeps making allegations but even when he enjoys the privilege of the Seanad, he refuses to provide details and the details he provided in June 2012 related to a Bank of Ireland – not NAMA – transaction and the Cork landbank transaction took place months after he turned up breathless on the Pat Kenny show alleging all sorts of shenanigans. The June Seanad debate was the only debate watched live on here, and with practically all senators absent from the chamber and one third of them not even bothering to show up for the vote, with senators from all parties and none mostly contributing nothing of value, you really lose faith in what was supposed to be an independent organ of government that would bring a different class of wisdom to legislation and policy.

It was just over a year ago when An Taoiseach Enda Kenny committed to holding a referendum in 2012 to abolish the Seanad. That slipped as Enda’s ear was bent backwards by vested interests, namely many of the 60 senators and some TDs who might see the Seanad as a soft-landing when they lose their seats at the next election. In recent months, An Taoiseach has reiterated the intention to hold a referendum but it will now be held in 2013.

Then, we will get the opportunity to do what Denmark – one of the contributors to our bailout – did in the 1950s. And then we will get the opportunity to abolish this blot on our democracy, this very expensive forum – take a look here at the pay and perks of senators – and this disgrace where ignorance and windbaggery – above is but a tiny example that just happens to relate to NAMA -prevails over the voices of the handful of senators who might have the capacity to improve life in this State. The abolition referendum can’t come soon enough, and then, we won’t have to put up with this superfluous puffery.

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We will get the economic figures from the Central Statistics Office tomorrow  17th December 2012 [CORRECTION: moved to Tuesday 18th February 2012 at 11am] for the three months ending 30th September 2012, and there will be much focus on these figures, particularly in light of the Government’s odd projections for 2012.

There are mixed signals in the Irish economy with exports performing well, with inflation falling and subdued, with retail sales rising modestly and some good anecdotal reports of pre-Christmas sales. Consumer confidence is up and down, but overall appears steady. On the other hand, we continue to have 14.6% unemployment equating to 324,000 people and we have a total of 420,000 on the Live Register which includes recipients of all unemployment-related benefit  and this latter figure is after an additional 5,000 people going on schemes in the past 12 months which allow them to be temporarily removed from the Register. Anecdotally emigration continues to be elevated. A mixed domestic picture.

Ireland’s GDP – gross domestic product – is 2011 was €158,993m and this is the usual top-line measure of the strength of an economy. In Ireland however, because of the significant presence of foreign multinationals who remit a lot of their profits overseas, it is our GNP – gross national product which largely removes the effect of these remittances – that many economists focus on, and in 2011 our GNP was €127,016m.

The most recent Government projections from the Medium Term Fiscal Statement in November 2012 are that real GDP – that is excluding the effect of inflation – will increase by 0.9% in 2012 and that real GNP will increase by 1.4%. Inflation, measured by HICP – harmonized index of consumer prices – is estimated at 2.1% in 2012. Nominal GDP for 2012 is put at €163,150m – a 2.6% increase over the nominal €158,993m actual nominal GDP in 2011. Nominal GNP for 2012 is put at €130,850m – a 3.0% increase over the nominal €127,016m actual nominal GNP in 2011.

Economic forecasting is very difficult indeed, and generally you only tend to pay particular attention when one forecast is significantly out of line with another. And it would seem that the Government’s current projections are indeed out of line with consensus.

In October 2012, the Central Bank of Ireland produced its latest quarterly forecast for 2012 and put real GDP at 0.5% and GNP at a contraction of 0.4%, HICP is forecast at 2%. The GDP forecast is in line with other organisations’ forecasts, eg the European Commission forecasts 2012 real GDP at 0.4%.

These percentages might look very small to you and you might wonder whether a 0.5% difference in GDP forecasting or even a 1.8% difference in GNP forecasting makes a lot of difference. Unfortunately, it does make a difference.

In Ireland’s case, we have a target deficit to reach in 2012, which has been agreed with the programme Troika. As a percentage of GDP, the target is 8.6%. The Government is saying it expects to beat that target and deliver an end-of-year deficit as a % of GDP of 8.2%. And these targets are by reference to actual GDP where both real GDP and inflation combine. Actual annual HICP to end of November 2012 was 1.6% which is below BOTH the Government and Central Bank’s estimates for the 12 months to the end of December 2012.

When recently asked to explain why the Government’s forecast was at odds with the Central Bank’s forecast, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan gave a partial response – see below – which justified the GNP forecast on the basis of the CSO’s estimates of GNP and GDP for the first half of 2012. But these estimates were also available to the Central Bank at the start of October, and in line with Department of Finance practice, there was no real attempt to answer the question, why the difference with the Central Bank.

Forecasts come and go, and it is a difficult business, but the recent publication of the British outlook for their economy from their independent Office for Budget Responsibility should have set a few alarm bells ringing because it forecasts a 0.1% contraction in the British economy in 2012, down from a 0.8% forecast expansion earlier this year. And remember that Britain is our biggest practical trading partner. The latest Department of Finance monthly economics report refers to international developments but curiously omits reference to the UK statement on 5th December 2012.

So the estimates of Q3, 2012 GNP and GDP from the CSO will be closely watched tomorrow to see if they bolster or undermine the Government’s own forecasts which at this point look distinctly odd.

This was the parliamentary question and response this week about the discrepancy between Central Bank and Department of Finance forecasts.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will provide an explanation for the significant difference between the forecast contraction of gross national product by the Central Bank of Ireland produced in October 2012 for the full year 2012 of 0.4% and the forecast in the medium term fiscal statement produced by his Department in November 2012 which forecast real GNP growing at 1.4% in 2012..

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan : My Department’s latest forecasts are set out in the Economic and Fiscal Outlook which accompanied the Budget and which was based on the Medium Term Fiscal Statement (MTFS) published on 24th November.

My Department is projecting real GNP growth of 1.4 per cent for this year.  This projection is based inter alia on data for the first half of the year which show annual GNP growth of 2¼ per cent relative to the first half of the previous year.

The projection for GNP is in excess of that projected for GDP (0.9 per cent). As the Deputy will be aware, GNP equals GDP less net factor income from the rest of the world, the latter mainly relating to profit repatriation by multinational corporations.  Net factor outflows recorded a sharp fall in the second quarter of 2012 boosting GNP growth relative to GDP.  This development is also likely to contribute to a further improvement in the current account of the balance of payments, which is expected to record a surplus equivalent to 3.4 per cent of GDP this year.

I would stress that net factor income flows are very volatile on a quarterly basis as they can be heavily influenced by specific decisions made by individual firms which cannot be predicted with much certainty.  In this context, the MTFS stresses that there is a wide degree of uncertainty around GNP growth and level forecasts both in the short- and medium-term.

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You won’t have heard much recently from Minister for Finance Michael Noonan boasting about the €5bn that he saved this country by burning subordinated bondholders since March 2011. This was after the previous Fianna Fail administration had burned subordinated bondholders to the tune of €10bn. Remember there are two main types of bondholders  – “subordinated” which have in some cases been burned to an extent and “senior” which have been 100% repaid – and it’s not news that we have been imposing haircuts or discounts on the repayment of some subordinated bondholders. But what is emerging is that these haircuts might be reversed and on at least three fronts, Minister Noonan is facing attacks by subordinated bondholders which threaten the €5bn haircuts he has imposed and perhaps even the €10bn haircuts that the previous Fianna Fail government imposed.

In 2013, in the UK, Anglo or IBRC as it is now known will be seeking to overturn an incredibly damaging UK High Court decision last summer which awarded a victory to a German holder of subordinated bonds. When asked about this appeal recently, Minister Noonan said he didn’t want to comment on ongoing litigation, but in truth, IBRC faces losses that could run into 10s if not 100s of millions of euros if the High Court victory is upheld and if other subordinated bondholders enter the fray on the back of the decision.

In the UK also, there is a group of former Bank of Ireland subordinated bondholders pressing their case.

And over in the US, we have the battle joined between the Cayman Islands hedge fund, Fir Tree Capital and IBRC or Anglo. At stake are US $200m (€152m) of subordinated bonds which were issued in 2005 and which are redeemable in 2015, and Fir Tree has attacked Anglo’s moves to impose a haircut. In the Dail recently, Minister Noonan confirmed that he has not sought to impose loses on Fir Tree “directly or indirectly” and that interest continues to be paid on the bonds, and that the principal will be repaid.

Today, we bring you the latest legal documents in the case. Just to bring you up to speed. In February 2011, IBRC, a company in which Minister Noonan owns 100% of the shares and is the sole shareholder, sold off assets associated with the deposits it was offloading,  which resulted in a ratings downgrade for the bank. Fir Tree then went to New York courts claiming Anglo was taking action which would put at risk its right to 100% repayment. There ensued a legal battle at the New York District Court, which Fir Tree lost because the judge said the court didn’t have jurisdiction over the matter, and now Fir Tree has appealed that decision to the US Court of Appeals and it is understood the case is set to be heard on in early 2013.

Fir Tree’s case hinges on actions undertaken by the Irish government including setting NAMA which acquired Anglo loans at a steep discount and the sale of the deposit books and loan books at steep discounts which imposed further losses on the bank, which now is using those losses to justify imposing a haircut on subordinated bondholders. Fir Tree is particularly upset at the orders signed by Minister Noonan in February 2011 which resulted in the sale of deposit books and associated assets at Anglo to AIB/PTSB.  The credit ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Anglo’s subordinated debt severely after this event, and Fir Tree say this deliberate act by the Irish government has led to it facing losses – the familiar terms of “dissipating assets” and “rendering itself destitute” are for a change thrown in Anglo’s face.

For its part, Anglo says that it was a broken bank without the aid of the Irish government and that when called upon by the Irish government to share these losses, holders of 92% of the subordinated bonds agreed to accept some degree of haircut.

The case was kicked out of the NY District Court because the judge believed that the Irish state involvement in the bank rendered the matter outside its jurisdiction. Fir Tree is appealing this

34 Appeal by Fir Tree and response from Anglo

WARNING, the following two files are large! May take a couple of minutes to download.

35 shows the history of filings and the original application

36-1 is the original Fir Tree affidavit for the case and the Anglo responding affidavit with lots of interesting appendices

UPDATE: 28th January, 2013. It is reported by the Irish Independent today that the Fir Tree appeal is scheduled to be heard at 2pm on Wednesday 30th January 2013. Last week, Fir Tree sought to have the hearing postponed for two reasons – one, Fir Tree is in the process of selling the bonds to a number of buyers who don’t want their identities disclosed “because they consider their buying and selling strategies to be proprietary information” and secondly, the bonds need be reissued by IBRC after the originals were allegedly destroyed in Hurricane Sandy and the physical bonds are needed before a sale can be finalised. The judge in the US Court of Appeals rejected the request for the postponement, so it seems the case is going ahead on Wednesday.

UPDATE:31st January, 2013. The Irish Times managed to get a report of yesterday’s proceedings. It was a short appeal hearing and judgment has been reserved and is expected “in a matter of weeks”. The judge was reportedly unconvinced by the Fir Tree appeal against its failure to get satisfaction in the lower court, and the appeal judge appears to be unconvinced that Fir Tree have a case.

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Just as it seemed as if it had been pulled off and a week after unveiling a draconian and unfair budget, with ministers stonewalling and boostering and the media cycle about to come to an end, a single dissenter in the Labour Party now threatens to split the Party and consequently undermine the Coalition. And that legacy of Budget 2013 will survive for weeks to come, it seems. Meanwhile the Social Welfare Bill and Property Tax Bill seem set to be voted into law before Christmas, so this is just an overview of what has happened in Budget 2013.

(1) The promise not to increase income tax was broken by Fine Gael – this was an election commitment which made it into the Programme for Government which commits the Coalition to “ Maintain the current rates of income tax together with bands and credits. We will not increase the top marginal rates of taxes on income. We will reduce, cap or abolish property tax reliefs and other tax shelters which benefit very high income earners. We will also ensure the implementation of a minimum effective tax rate of 30% for very high earners  “. And the Labour Party broke again its commitment, which didn’t make it into the Programme for Government, to cut child benefit.  Now the Government has been getting a relatively free ride by claiming PRSI is not an income tax, but as far as the IMF is concerned, PAYE, USC and PRSI are all income taxes. Both Labour and Fine Gael abandoned pre-election commitments not to tax the family home. Promises and commitments have been broken.

(2) The Fiscal Advisory Council was ignored (again). The independent Fiscal Advisory Council set up in a rush in July 2011 to meet an IMF deadline, again produced its pre-budget analysis and recommendations at a very general level for the Irish economy. And again, the Government and particularly, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan “noted” the advice but for the second year running, dismissed it. The Council refused to do the honorable thing which was to resign which would then prompt the IMF to re-engage on the matter and presumably take robust steps to force the Government to establish some mechanism which would prevent the Charlie McCreevy “if we have it, we’ll spend it” type of economic policy perspective. But instead of resigning, the Council has remain muted on its role. Very disappointing.

(3) There was consultation amongst ministers before the Budget was announced, but not what was anticipated by the electorate or ministers when this commitment was made in the Programme for GovernmentWe will open up the Budget process to the full glare of public scrutiny in a way that restores confidence and stability by exposing and cutting failing programmes and pork barrel politics.“ It was reportedly eight days before the Budget announcement when the four members of the Economic Management Council, Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin, handed down the Budget to other ministers. This was the first time reportedly when they all saw the Budget though there had been bilateral consultations and exchanges beforehand. It was reportedly seven days before the Budget announcement when the government parliamentary parties had sight of the Budget and that’s when the leaks started. And there was a final meeting five days before the Budget announcement when the parties tried to push their own agendas but there was very limited change. All of this of course happened behind closed doors so we can only speculate about the reports, but it is a fact that there was very little prior consultation or “opening up the Budget process to the full glare of public scrutiny”

(4) The property tax is rushed and un-costed. Many people are still scratching their heads at the calculations underpinning next year’s estimates. What is clear is that the Budget announcement on 5th December 2012 was followed by the publication on 6th December 2012 of the expert report that has been sitting on Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan’s desk since June, followed by the publication of the 66-page Property Tax Bill on the 7th December 2012, and it is likely that the Bill will become law before Christmas 2012. So it has been rushed, there has been little consultation or debate and as revealed on here during the week, you can probably take the estimates of yield with a pinch of salt.

(5) Savings of €390m in Minister Joan Burton’s Department of Social Protection are more or less easy to see. Welfare is being cut. But there are even bigger savings in Minister James Reilly’s Department of Health, but people are scratching their heads wondering if the savings are feasible. And people have good reason to be suspicious – in 2012, it is Minister Reilly’s Department which has singularly failed to deliver savings – yes social protection is also up, but unless you cut benefit rates, the social welfare budget will be set by the number of people claiming.

(6) The debate and engagement by the Government in the aftermath of the Budget announcements were atrocious. It is 22 months since Fianna Fail was in power and this is the second Coalition budget and yet, any attempt by Fianna Fail to tease out or examine or debate budget adjustments was generally met with the refrain that reduces to Fianna Fail, a party which received 17% of the votes in February 2011, should not criticize or challenge this Government’s policies because of that Party’s record in office. And as for Sinn Fein, because of its legacy in the Troubles in Northern Ireland on one hand and because of its role in an administration in Northern Ireland, a country which depends on a €15bn annual subvention from Westminister, that Party which received 10% of the votes in February 2011 should not criticize or challenge this Government’s policies. For outsiders looking in at the operation of democracy in this State, this is patently shameful.

(7) No debt deal. Remember that it has been at least 15 months since Minister Noonan set off for Poznan in Poland for an meeting of finance ministers and where private talks were held with the ECB’s then-president, Jean Claude Trichet. Yes, it really was at least 15 months ago since negotiations started on our bank debt burden. Since then there has been the blether about technical papers being prepared by the Troika, a “re-engineering of the promissory notes”, an event in March 2011 when the Government settled the promissory note payment that then fell due by issuing a new sovereign bond. The Government said it didn’t “pay” the promissory note, but if that were true, you don’t “pay” for your meal in a restaurant if you settle by credit card. That’s what the Government did, and the credit card analogy is particularly apt because the sovereign bond issued to settle the obligation carries an interest rate of 5.4% per annum which is almost twice the interest charge on the bailout cash. Then in June 2012, we had talk of “game-changers” and “hard graft” and our very own Playboy of the Western World wooed us when he said that some people in Europe found out he was not someone to be tangled with too easily. There was an indication there would be a debt deal by October 2012, then that it would be settled before the Budget 2013 announcement and the latest is that there will be a deal in place by March 2013, and although there may well be a change in which the promissory note is repaid, the word on the street is that any new arrangement will be mostly optics and will not materially alter Ireland’s debt burnden.

(8) No bankers remuneration report. Even since the Fianna Fail finance spokesperson Michael McGrath reignited the furore about bankers’ salaries and pensions when AIB turned up for an Oireachtas hearing in October 2012, the Government has been protesting that (a) it is powerless to interfere in remuneration paid to bankers in utterly bust banks in which the finance minister owns all the shares (b) that the Government has commissioned yet another expert report to examine bankers’ salaries. No-one regards this tactic as anything other than an attempt to kick the issue into the long grass, and it does not take six months for a consultancy at a cost of €120,000 to produce a report – no, it takes seven months, even though An Taoiseach indicated the report could have been available before the Budget 2013 announcements. At this stage, we can conclude there is no political will to interfere in these salary arrangements and that it just for Paddies to offer up waivers of their salaries.

(9) Political salaries were left untouched, save for a minor reduction in the allowance paid to Independent TD’s in lieu of a leaders allowance and the fact that such allowances will need be evidenced with receipts, there was nary a finger laid on political pay and perks in Budget 2013 save for the €264 per annum extra that TDs and senators will need cough up in income tax/PRSI payments in 2013. Remind yourselves here how much the 166 TDs and 60 senators are paid in pay and perks, it’s both a scandal in the context of a Budget that should have placed solidarity at its heart but more practically, it makes a joke of Ireland adopting the “poor mouth” and shaking the begging bowl for a debt deal at our partners in Europe, when our own politicians earn more, and often substantially more, than those same partners.

(10) This Budget looks extremely regressive and the ESRI will no doubt give their verdict shortly, but what seems clear of that the Budget was not tested in advance to determine its impact on poverty levels. The spinning from the Government of the €500m of measures aimed at the wealthy out of a total Budget adjustment of €3.5bn is insultingly wrong, half the €500m – the change to pension allowances where the final pension will pay €60,000 or more per year – will only kick in, in 2014. So in 2013, a mere €250m of wealth-focussed taxes out of a total adjustment of €3.5bn will obtain. Ireland continues to have a progressive tax system, meaning those with more income pay more, but both the 2011 and now this, Budget have been regressive.

Will any of this make any difference? We will need wait for the next opinion poll to see how far the Government parties have dropped but even dramatic changes are unlikely to be taken seriously at this stage of the Government’s term, which naturally has another three years to run. The Labour Party’s internal troubles have a more immediate and profound potential, and it seems there are two sides emerging in a battle for the soul of the Labour Party, and this ultimately has the potential to undermine the Government and change the political landscape.

So broken promises, the independent fiscal council as useful as a chocolate teapot – but by God, they will not resign on principle – no debt deal, minimal pre-budget consultation, a mockery of debate, no debt relief and politicians acting like kleptocrats keeping their own pay and perks, and those of bailed out bankers, whilst slashing around them. And one lone voice of dissent amongst 110 TDs. So adieu then to the Budget until next year, when a further €3bn-odd will be taken out of the economy in Budget 2014.

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