SOURCE: IRISH INDEPENDENT
Savage cuts to a host of previously "untouchable" State services were considered by the Government as a result of the State's dire financial position, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
Following the Government's controversial clampdown on pensioners last week -- which has deeply angered thousands of retired workers -- Public Expenditure Minster Brendan Howlin and his department are now considering a host of new cuts to services to the elderly and schoolchildren as well as the sale of State assets.
Amid growing fears of a double dip recession in Europe and the inevitable knock-on effect for Ireland's ability to meet its growth targets, drastic cuts are now being considered to "schemes which may not have been subject to sustained critical consideration up to now".
The nature of the cuts, proposed in a new report drawn up by the Central Expenditure and Evaluation Unit (CEEU) in Mr Howlin's department, seen by the Sunday Independent, have been described as "politically toxic".
The paper says that "strong political direction" will be needed to bring urgent completion to the rationalisation and abolition of State agencies.
The proposals were part of the comprehesnive spending review process considered by the cabinet in the run up to the budget.
Virtually no sector escapes untouched from the proposals, but according to senior government sources last night, they are set to be "vigorously opposed" by many within the Cabinet and on the government backbenches.
Link to full article: In firing line for savage cuts -- young, old and vulnerable
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