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Thread: Why are the Irish media so out of step with the public on the taxing/cutting debate?

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    Politics.ie Member gijoe's Avatar
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    Default Why are the Irish media so out of step with the public on the taxing/cutting debate?

    It is being reported in I think the Tribune this morning that FG are arguing, as a point of differentiation with Labour, that the fiscal adjustment must come in the main from spending cuts rather than tax rises. Whatever anyone's personal view of this debate it is clear from the recent Irish Times poll that FG are onto a winner with this policy. The Times poll found that the balance of public view on this question was 57-17 in favour of spending cuts over tax increases. This finding of the poll was virtually unreported in the media but it is one I latched onto at the time.

    Yet the debate across the media is in inverse proportions to the public view with those arguing to tax more and not cut spending dominating in most debates. The most extreme example of this is on Vincent Browne, but RTE also are totally skewed as well where any proposed cut in public spending will find a line of media talking heads stating that this or that cut will mean the end of the world. Why is the Irish media so out of step with the population in this respect? Is it the institutionalised leftism that is so apparant in the Irish media? Or is there another explanation?

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    The media will tow the Government line.
    RTE=State broadcaster=FF Mouthpiece.

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
    Is it the institutionalised leftism that is so apparant in the Irish media?
    Yes, but its liberal leftism, not leftism in the socialist sense. Also many in the media are a few pay grades above the average worker in the broader economy so can't envision a tax that they would feel the 'pinch' from.

    But aside from that there is also an element that sees supporting cuts putting them on the wrong side of Unionised opinion. We might contemplate how the media is not more focused on Public Sector reform given the slew of revelations about excessive luxury spending by State bodies.

    If the mainstream Irish media wanted to take the middle ground the only piece available is; reform. But in ignoring it they seem to have chosen, as you rightly point out, to foist the burden onto the lowest paid in the form of tax. Thus the burden will be given to those who do not have their opinions regularly courted by the media.

    It is also worth noting that working for RTE, a semi-state body, is the ultimate goal of most in the private Irish media, either as informed guest commentator or directly. So the threat of a snub by Public Sector unions I am sure looms large in the mind of journalist who see RTE providing some feathers of comfort for their own nests.

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    I should also point out that Fine Geals current position is entirely logical for them. Fianna Fail and Labour are tustling over the Public Sector vote. There is nothing in that for Fine Geal, so their current stance would appeal to that floating private sector vote that neither Fianna Fail nor Labour have any interest in courting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohville View Post
    The media will tow the Government line.
    RTE=State broadcaster=FF Mouthpiece.
    I'd say its even a bit broader than FF. Its the 'establishment' view. Bear in mind, many folk benefit from high public spending - doctors, lawyers, folk in so-called 'voluntary' social bodies that are actually chiefly funded by the taxpayer. That's who RTE are speaking for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thac0man View Post
    I should also point out that Fine Geals current position is entirely logical for them. Fianna Fail and Labour are tustling over the Public Sector vote. There is nothing in that for Fine Geal, so their current stance would appeal to that floating private sector vote that neither Fianna Fail nor Labour have any interest in courting.

    Very good point.

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    Politics.ie Member ne0ica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thac0man View Post
    I should also point out that Fine Geals current position is entirely logical for them. Fianna Fail and Labour are tustling over the Public Sector vote. There is nothing in that for Fine Geal, so their current stance would appeal to that floating private sector vote that neither Fianna Fail nor Labour have any interest in courting.
    Agree. I think FG should make a stronger case to the Irish public for public sector reform. Let the Labour party and trade Unions cry all they want but the Irish public are smarter than people give them credit for and are able to move beyond the typical cheap lazy soundbite often heard on radio and tv from so called 'members of the public', the ususal 'tax the rich' 'tax the banker'

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    Quote Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
    Why is the Irish media so out of step with the population in this respect? Is it the institutionalised leftism that is so apparant in the Irish media? Or is there another explanation?
    There are endless numbers of organised groups who leech off taxpayers money and make themselves available to the media. Taxpayers themselves do not have a means to make their collective views known other than through surveys like these or ultimately the ballot box.

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