Apart from the fact that Fine Gael have proposed a good bank/bad bank option and Labour have proposed temporary nationalisation of the banks, Biffo is still wrong.
While the Opposition proposals are improvements on the blatant bailout of Biffo's plan, there is a third option. It's called capitalism. Not crony capitalism like Fianna Fail understand. Proper capitalism.
Allow me to summarise: LET. THE. BANKRUPT. BASTARDS. GO. TO. THE. WALL.
But Biffo says we need to bail out these banks so that they can get lending to the rest of us and improve the economy so that we can stop borrowing a billion every fortnight and we won't have to call in the IMF.
Biffo couldn't be thicker if he was a bottle of pigshit.
Here's how to save the country's finances, Biffo. Here's Plan B:
- Let the zombie banks and the developers go to the wall. 77 billion saved right there. Then start prosecuting the bankers. Take them through the courts, using CAB if necessary. Probably a couple of billion minimum right there.
- After that, there's halving the salaries of TDs, closing the Seanad and making all representatives provide receipts for expenses, and capping the total at 10K per person per annum. Hundreds of millions saved.
- Make ministers drive their own cars and fly with their new bessie mate Mick O'Leary, and sell the Mercs and jets.
- Increase corporation tax by 2%. Not enough to drive FDI away, but enough to bring in an absolute ton of revenue.
- Cut the dole to no more than 25% higher than Britain's. That'll stop the vast amount of welfare tourism into Ireland, and will incentivise the unemployed to seek other options. Ideally, I'd timecap it to six months too, but in current circumstances it's unreasonable to expect people to find work in that period. But I'd timecap it as soon as we get unemployment back under 300,000. Billions saved there. Literally billions.
- Scrap the asylum system entirely, including the appeal system, and implement a pro-active approach involving identifying a capped number of those worthy of asylum and patriating them here ourselves. Deport everyone who has lost their case without appeal. Stop anymore coming in at the airport. Insist on Romanians and Bulgarians demonstrating an ability to support themselves here for three months or refuse them entry. Hundreds of millions annually saved on legal fees alone. Hundreds of millions more saved on processing bogus claims from the likes of Nigerians, over 95% of whom were found NOT to have a case on first application. And probably at least a billion saved in free legal aid, medical care, welfare benefits and so on.
- Introduce a third rate of tax on earnings over 100K per year of 60%. Introduce the American system of demanding tax returns from ex-pats on pain of loss of citizenship.
- Cap public sector wages at 150K per annum per person across the board from Brendan Drumm down. Introduce legislation to end their generous pension entitlements.
- Cancel all property-related tax incentives immediately, and the same for stud farms and all the other rich men's tax shelters.
- Legalise cannabis, licence it for sale and tax the hole out of it. Hundreds of millions in revenue right there.
- Introduce a property tax based on square footage of property owned, on an exponential scale, with exemptions for primary family homes under 100 sq m. Own half of Wicklow? Time to pay up, sell up, or open up your stately home to the nation.
- Prosecute Ahern. Not a lot of cash in this, but it is essential to demonstrate to the world that we're drawing a line under our corrupt and shady past.
But it is such a clear and vast improvement on the Government's plan A - to give tens of billions to corrupt bankers and their bankrupt specuvestor clientele - that you'd have to question who the Government actually represent.
Because it's definitely not the Irish taxpayer.