(1) Fine Gael supported the Government on Lisbon II – in the national interest
(2) Fine Gael unilaterally supports the Government in the retention of the 12.5% Corporation tax rate – probably the only remaining competitive differentiator for us when it somes to retaining/developing the multi-national base (particularly US-orginated).
Garrett Fitzgerald writes in today’s Irish Times that the Opposition should support the Government’s 4-year fiscal plan (once unveiled). His basic reason for this is that doing otherwise would mean that “our sovereignty would be put at risk”.
I believe Garrett is wrong.
(1) The actions that put our sovereignty at risk have already happened – poor regulation of the banking sector and allowing local construction activity become 15% of national output (to name but two); both happened on Cowen’s watch as Minister for Finance
(2) The soi-disant all-powerful “markets” should be demanding comprehensive ongoing domestic scrutiny of the Government’s plan as a means of keeping those plans current and in check; NOT seeking short-term political peace
(3) Democracy should ultimately transcend and outlive economic problems i.e. democracy should take primacy over the markets; when the markets are “gone”, democracy will be still with us.
No 4-year blank cheques here thank you.