IMF plans for intensified austerity
In a report published on Sep 10 the IMF set out a wish list in advance of the budget. The government may oppose individual points, but will have to come up with an overall budget within these guidelines.
The IMF calls for:
The abolition of universal benefits - all benefits are to be rigidly means tested, targeting spending on child benefit, the medical card and college fees.
A massive increase in property tax - the current €100 charge would become a sliding scale, starting at around €1000 per year.
"Green" taxes - fuel and vehicle taxes would increase the "death of 1000 cuts" workers are already experiencing.
Targeted reduction of State pensions should be considered.
The IMF praised the Croke Park agreement but complained that the public sector pay bill remained high. Pay and pension cuts were demanded. The health sector was targeted, with the IMF urging cuts in overtime payments and offering primary care rather than hospital treatment.
Tax rates are to continue favouring the rich and subsidizing the transnationals.
But even the IMF admit this pain is for nothing unless the euro-zone achieves stability!