Friday 22 September 2017

Coalition partners draw battle lines over Budget

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

THE Budget debate has begun earlier than ever this year – because the Budget itself is only three months away.

It will be a huge challenge for the Government to ensure that this October Budget is not a repeat of the disastrous October 2008 Budget delivered by former Taoiseach Brian Cowen's Government. That led to furious elderly people taking to the streets to protest about the threatened withdrawal of their medical cards.

And already the battle lines between Fine Gael and Labour are becoming very clear. With local and European elections due next year, both are scrambling to establish their positions. Labour wants to reduce social welfare cuts. Fine Gael wants to invest any spare money in capital projects.

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