If top Irish promoter Denis Desmond was running his country, he’d nationalise its banks and a few of its politicians would be shown the door, according to Hot Press.
The Irish music magazine ran a feature on the economy and sought the views of other promoters, including Peter Aiken and Peter Kenny, Sports Council chairman Ossie Kilkenny, FM104 radio chief exec Maragret Nelson and former arts minister Michael D. Higgins.
“They have made a lot of mistakes. Clearly it was wrong to increase VAT when Gordon Brown was reducing the VAT rate in the U.K.,” Desmond explained in a piece that was highly critical of the way the Irish government is responding to the financial crisis.
He said finance minister Brian Lenihan has been “like a rabbit caught in the headlights” and doesn’t have the necessary qualifications to deal with the situation.
He also argued for a ban on overtime as a way of creating jobs, and said that “people in the lower income bracket should suffer no increase in taxes.”
His political manifesto would also mean ensuring there would be no cuts in education because it’s an essential investment in the future.
In his contribution, Peter Aiken – Desmond’s main rival in the Irish market – argued that enabling new businesses to get off the ground and helping existing businesses to get through the current crisis will be vital because steadying the drift toward unemployment has to be the single biggest factor in our recovery.
“Ireland has to get real,” he said. “We’re in competition now against every other economy not just in Europe but in the world. We have to be competitive.
“With what’s been going on with the banks, I was reminded of Bob Dylan singing ‘steal a little they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king.’”
Kilkenny is in favour of a reduction in the minimum wage, which is 25 percent higher than elsewhere in Europe.
Higgins said the country needs to decide “whether the project is about reviving the corpse of the failed neo-liberal system or doing something radically different.”
Nelson revealed that her way of dealing with the recession was to ban “the R word” from the FM104 offices.