Last nights debate chaired by former FG Minister for Agriculture Ivan Yates featured a no holds barred discussion on the economy. It was by far the best debate on the issue so far this year. The panellists were: Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev, Paul Sommerville, Cliff Taylor, and Oliver Gilvarry. The overall discussion focused on the banking crisis, exchequer borrowing and on the economy in general. There was a crispness, clarity and an absence of obfuscation. Government policy on the banks was forensically analysed and no prisoners were taken. According to Constantin Gurdgiev the final Anglo bill could reach €38 billion. There was an excellent discussion on AIB and on the bank guarantee scheme. The panel members outlined the full reality of the financial crisis tonight. If the government fails to bring in an appropriate budget to tackle the crisis we may not be able to borrow in 2011. In addition the stimulus packages of various international governments are running out. So international growth will slow down also.
In short a savage budget is a sine qua non just to keep the country afloat. The government has no choice. It MUST find more than the €3 billion previously announced. It MUST take the hard decisions. Any weakening in resolution will have catastrophic consequences. In short the motto for the government should be "We may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb".
Government Ministers must avoid solo runs. Solo runs from the Greens portray an image of political instability. The markets are watching. The Greens need to forget about climate change. Ireland's contribution to this is miniscule in any case. Increasing energy costs will only increase unemployment. It is time for the Greens to adopt the motto "Save Ireland first". It is pointless killing Ireland's economy whilst making meaningless gestures to save the planet.
Paul Sommerville tonight stated that the Greens including Dan Boyle had strongly supported the government policy on Anglo for the last two years. Now that they sense that government policy on Anglo is in difficulties they are beginning to distance themselves so as to say "I told you so in the next election".
The reality is that the Greens are now tied into government banking policy whether they like it or not. They will not fool the voters.
The government parties can now hang together or hang separately.