At present the government is borrowing €400 million weekly to finance the ship of state. This is clearly unsustainable. It is against this background that the four-member committee called an Bord Snip was established by the government charged with finding billions in savings across all Government departments and the public sector.
It was mandated to identify posts that are "not essential" in the public sector.
It was further charged with identifying cuts in spending and staff numbers, quangos that could be merged or abolished and was instructed to recommend ways of obtaining better value for taxpayers' money.
At a preliminary glance some recommendations on Social Welfare are politically unsustainable. Its recommendations in relation to rural Ireland are those of a body with an urban bias. Quite frankly committee members appear out of touch with life outside the Pale.
Notwithstanding these comments large cuts in public expenditure are inevitable if we as a nation are to live within our means.
The government can accept or reject individual recommendations. It is often said that only two things are certain in life:death and taxes. Unfortunately in Ireland massive cuts in public expenditure are also a certainty as a slash and burn approach is used to get the public finances back on track. There is now a grave danger that consumer sentiment will plummet further. Tax receipts may plunge.
Massive confrontation is inevitable between the interest groups and the government before the next budget. Has the Green Party got the stomach for the hard medicine?
If the party walks out of government a general election will ensue and it will be wiped out.