Budget 2012: In pieces
Today's budget will be an exercise in damage limitation for the Smart Economy and little more
Blogs | 05 Dec 2011 :
Well you can't say we weren't warned. Last night's address to the nation by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was a necessary warning to the Irish people to brace for impact as the Government's the first part of the Budget gets set for delivery today. The hope is that it won't be as bad as feared, that benefits will go untouched, spending cuts limited to the public sector and that the wealthy will have to feel as much pain as the '99%' to borrow a modish phrase.
From a technology perspective all eyes will be on three areas: corporation tax, education and supports for small business. In order, the Government has stressed that the low (and easily dodged) corporation tax rate is untouchable, education is the key to stopping to keeping the talent required to get the country moving again within the borders and that a micro-funding system would be put in place to encourage start-ups.
This is all well and good but we know at least one of these areas is going to suffer. An interview with Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin on Morning Ireland today revealed it will be the schools system that'll take a hit to the tune of €150 million. This would be a disaster to the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NCCA) and its plans to move the Junior Certificate from a grades to skills model. Having argued passionately for education reform in the past, Minister Ruairi Quinn may have to perform an embarrassing volte face on the NCCA proposals.
We wait in hope for this afternoon, if not expectation.
Updates as we get them.