Budget Day – December 7th. It’s dreaded by some but for many there’s a sense that we need to hear the bad news now and put an end to the paralysis that has gripped the country. Well now on colmoregan.com, you may be able to get a head start on this. Here, for the first time are excerpts from Brian Lenihan’s 2011 budget speech – four days before he delivers it in the Dáil.
A Cheann Chomhairle,
Before I outline the budgetary details, I would like to address persistent rumours that this budget is not the work of the government, but that the terms of it have been dictated to us by the IMF. I reject this out of hand. As a government we played a full part in the drafting of this budget. We did all the spellchecking and also advised on where to put the fadas.
Let me be clear, we find ourselves in a very difficult economic situation. Of course, by using the term ‘find ourselves’, I mean that the situation just happened and was nothing to do with us. It was probably someone else’s fault – Americans, banks or yer man off the telly. Due to this unprecedented situation it is incumbent upon all of us to do our fair share in bearing the cost in putting this economy back on track. By our fair share of course I mean your fair share.
Budget 2011 – We’re Rapidly Losing Interest In the National Interest is the eighth and final stage in this government’s comprehensive multi-year strategy towards restoring this great nation of ours to somewhere else. You will of course be familiar with the previous seven stages:
- Get Into Government.
- Sort Out Our Mates
- Ignore Warnings
- Deny We Panicked
- We’re All In This Together, Well You Are Anyway
- IMF, what IMF?
Living within our means
As a country we can no longer afford to continue the current rate of expenditure. With that in mind the government proposes cuts in the following areas:
– Public bus transport will be severely curtailed. Buses will now only arrive if the crowd waiting at the stop are sufficiently impatient. All bus-shelters will now be fitted with CCTV to monitor levels of disgruntlement and swearing as well as usage of the word “Typical” before deciding whether to allocate a bus or not.
– The Primary and Secondary Education systems are to be revolutionised with the introduction of a new teaching programme called “It Didn’t Do Us A Bit Of Harm”. Class sizes will be increased, Honours Maths will be just like the old days and history lessons will largely consist of learning off by heart the list of failed Irish Rebellions from 1600 to 1922. One expansion to the cirriculum is that compulsory Irish will be replaced by compulsory Mandarin Chinese. Those fellas are the only ones with money now.
Stimulating Growth – Maintaining our Independents
This government prides itself in placing the welfare of the nation above petty local concerns. With this in mind I am announcing a stimulus package for job creation in South Kerry and North Tipperary. These schemes will run until the next election. After that, when we are in opposition we will sit behind Deputies Healy-Rae and Lowry and repeatedly flick their ears and write on their jackets and there won’t be a thing they can do about it.
Tackling The Black Economy
A good government listens to what the people of the country are saying. And we can’t hear anything, which means ye must be up to something. We know what ye’re like. Therefore this government proposes to institute a specific tax to deal with the activities of the Black Economy. From 2012, we will place a special tax on all those with a Shifty Look About Them. Until such time as a regulatory system is introduced in 2011, a flat rate of €100 will be levied on all taxpayers under a Sure They’re All At It provision.
Harnessing Our Natural Resources
The past week proved that Ireland gets a significant amount of weather. My government will introduce the world’s first meteorological tax. From March of next year, all households will be expected to pay a small daily fee, the value of which will be dependent on the weather. If the day is a soft day, a grand day, not a bad day or mild enough but you’d still want your coat all the same, the lowest levy of one cent per day will apply. This will rise to five cents for scattered showers, blustery or changeable weather. Roasters, scorchers, bitterly cold, wintry days or episodes of thunder, lightning hail and hail will fall into the highest weather band and a charge of ten cents will be paid. Taxpayers may be exempt if it can be proved that they don’t mind the heat, but that it’s the humidity they can’t stand.
The other great resource of this proud country is our people. And our people’s greatest talent is moaning. From January 1st, new charges will be implemented on all calls to Joe Duffy’s Liveline. A sliding scale will apply depending on the usage of a number of predefined Liveline catchphrases. A full list will be defined shortly but a number of sample phrases and their tarriffs will include:
- “I mean, that’s terrible Joe” – €1
- “Someone needs to do something Joe” – €2
- “I tell ya Joe, I’d like to see him living on €200 euro a week janoramiyan.” €200
Each year, I complete my budget speech with a line that is supposed to be heroic but ends up sounding silly. In 2008, I said the budget was a patriotic call to arms, last year I said we’d turned a corner. This year I’m just asking if someone can get me a taxi. I never want to see ye again.