Monday 5 December 2016

Cowen's cowardice is cleverly disguised as prudence with the nation's budget

Alan Ruddock

Published 03/12/2006 | 00:11

IF DAVID Begg, the capo di capi of Ireland's trade union movement, chokes on his sandwiches this Wednesday, chances are that Brian Cowen has delivered a good budget. Sadly, however, Begg's afternoon tea is unlikely to be spoilt.

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Instead of tackling the issues that threaten Ireland's continued economic progress, the Finance Minister will be playing to the galleries. Our money will be handed back to us in a variety of crowd-pleasing ways: more money for pensioners, for children, for the poor.

He may throw in a few tax cuts, he may fiddle with stamp duty for first-time buyers or provide more tax reliefs and he will certainly take more people out of the tax net by widening the tax bands.

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