We all keep that rainy day fund on the side in cases of inevitable disaster or a night out that wasn't planned but badly needed. Well, now the Government's announcement of a 'rainy day fund' is raising many an eyebrow.
For anyone who isn't aware, the Irish government announced Budget 2018 yesterday and there was the usual increase in cigarettes and a new sugar tax but their rainy day fund wasn't exactly striking a chord with your average Joe. The Government insists that fund is needed for "inevitable" economic situations that could arise in the wake of Brexit or some unforeseen future crisis.
The name of the fund had many confused as to what the actual heck this fund is and what its purpose is for the Irish public as an additional €500 million will be added to the fund each year. With a name like "rainy day" you'd think the fund was being used to improve services in rural areas or those impacted by mass flooding across the nation, but no:
can we at least spend the rainy day fund on flood defences? #Budget18
— Padraig McLoughlin (@PadraigMcL) October 10, 2017
Independent Alliance TD revealed how he proposed the initiative and tweeted his delight about the fund going ahead:
Rainy day fund - key initiative proposed by myself and delighted accepted in #Budget2018
— Kevin 'Boxer' Moran (@kevinboxermoran) October 10, 2017
Political parties such as Sinn Féin were one of the first to criticise the fund:
— Clondalkin Sinn Féin (@SFClondalkin) October 10, 2017
Many people couldn't help but notice the irony of the 'rainy day fund':
Setting up a 'Rainy Day Fund' when there's people sleeping in the actual rain #rtept
— Dave Murphy (@davemurf83) October 10, 2017
And it's estimated that the fund could be used to build 12,000 homes:
#Budget18 Rainy Day Fund? Jesus Christ there are people without a Roof over their Heads, this Fund could provide up to 12000 Social Houses
— DermotoLeary NBRU GS (@DermotLeary) October 10, 2017
Or the hospital trolley crisis up and down the country:
Rainy day fund is pure optics.If you were one of 500 people on trolleys every night you'd already think it was a pretty rainy day. #Budget17
— Anthony O'Connor (@Antcon7062) October 10, 2017
Or what about the under 26s who receive nearly less than half the social welfare payment of someone who is over 26:
Under 26s still discriminated against by Social Protection. Why does this government treat our youth like 2nd class citizens? #budget18
— Cllr Michael O'Brien (@cllrmobrien) October 10, 2017
Bizarrely, other places around the world have these "rainy day funds" in place but haven't actually used them for real-life rainy days, take the recent flooding in Texas as an example:
Houston has $10 billion in a rainy day fund. I don't think Puerto Rico has close to that kind of money, much less San Juan.
— Bex (@misericorde74) September 30, 2017
So students can continue to worry that they may not get their grant, homelessness can continue to grow and let other vital services diminish - sure we may need this money for 'that' rainy day! What that rainy day looks like is entirely out of our hands.