Tag Archives: Economics

26 becomes 25 as Longford cut in effort to curb the deficit

20 Jan

Longford, it's sale could save the state over €250 million per year.

Dublin, Ireland– In an effort to curb spending and generate much-needed revenue, the Irish government has taken the drastic decision to sell County Longford, reducing the Irish republic from 26 counties to 25.

The move, which is expected to be formally announced on 28th January, was made following extensive discussions between representatives of the government and the EU-ECB-IMF troika.

“It was a tough decision, but with the prospect of another EU-backed bailout uncertain the government needed to take decisive action” said Siobhan Reilly, a spokeswoman for the government. “Selling Longford is not something the government wished to do, but with such economic volatility it became necessary to sell some non-key state assets”.

A provisional date for the transfer of the county to a yet to be determined buyer has been set for the 4th October. While a guide price remains confidential, it’s hoped that the move will save the public finances in excess of €250 million per year.

The decision to select Longford was reached after an interdepartmental group concluded that the county would be the least missed amongst the Irish public. James Masters, an advisor to the group, explained how the decision was reached.

“We took into account various factors; tax revenue accrued; cost to the exchequer; value of infrastructure etc. All of these were considered but with most counties running a deficit, what it ultimately came down to was county recognition”

The county holds the unfortunate distinction of satisfying the conditions of the ‘Belgian problem’, a popular political science theory that posits that area’s of relative insignificance and unpopularity are often the first to suffer in times of severe economic or political upheaval.

Despite the severity of the situation, many Longford locals have been stoic about the sale. James Nolan, a former councillor, said that while he found the news ‘wholly devastating’ , he was not overly surprised by it.

“To be honest, if anywhere was to go it was probably Longford. I was hoping for Roscommon or Leitrim but I always thought it would be us” said the 47-year-old solicitor from Granard.”Unfortunately we’re not known for a lot and visitors tend to forget the county in a hurry, kind of like a movie with J-Lo or your one off Friends

Others, however, have expressed their shock and disgust at the decision to sell the county on the international market. Many of whom have already speculated as to whether the government may have been pressured into the sale by powerful voices on the continent.

“I’m shocked and appalled that we (Longford) have to go. I think there were better options than us” said Margaret Coyne, a primary school teacher from Edgeworthstown, Longford. “They could have gone for Cork and done everyone a favour. I believe it’s only on the recommendations of the French and Germans that were now the one’s to suffer”.

Coyne’s sentiment has not fallen on deaf ears, with many members of the Opposition expressing their disapproval of the action.

“This move is totally unjust, even if Longford’s not the best place in the world, it still deserves to be a part of this country”, said a spokesman for Fianna Fail.

Although formal approaches will not permitted till late August, its been reported that the Chinese government have already registered an interest in procuring the county. It’s believed that the Asian superpower would likely redesignate the county as a free trade zone (FTZ) and use it as a European manufacturing base for products such as Hello Kitty lunch boxes and Pandora the Explorer DVD’s.

As to how many residents of the county will remain after the transfer date in October will have to be seen. One resident, however, did express an intention to stay regardless.

“I’m a Longford man first, an Irish man second. I’ll stay, even if the Chinese come” said Mark Murdoch, a carpenter from Longford town. “Sure, it wont be too bad. I love Chinese food, especially the number 46 and 78, the old chicken balls and chips”

In spite of Murdoch’s intentions, it’s expected that a large portion of the county’s current population will locate elsewhere in the coming months.

 

ALSO IN THE NEWS: GOVT. PLANS TO HURT ‘UGLY’ PEOPLE

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