News Brendan Keenan

Saturday 3 December 2016

Brendan Keenan: Deep cuts draw blood from the health service

Published 06/12/2011 | 05:00

The tricolour flies behind the statue on Daniel O'Connell on O'Connell Street in Dublin yesterday
The tricolour flies behind the statue on Daniel O'Connell on O'Connell Street in Dublin yesterday

THERE are few concepts more slippery than a public spending cut. First of all, what is a "cut?" Is it a reduction in the amount actually spent, or the amount which would have been spent had there been no cut?

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Politicians are very fond of the second definition. They trumpeted about their spending cuts, even as spending was actually rising.

But there is no room for such conjuring tricks now. Spending has to come down in real money. Even so, Brendan Howlin's spending statement cannot resist using it.

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