Thursday 8 December 2016

Brendan Keenan: Government finances at their limit as storm clouds gather

Published 10/11/2016 | 02:30

As the Brexit mess gets ever messier, people fret, rightly, about what public sector pay demands – including those of the teachers, above – are going to cost them
As the Brexit mess gets ever messier, people fret, rightly, about what public sector pay demands – including those of the teachers, above – are going to cost them

HAS it come to this already? The latest Exchequer returns on the public finances drew warnings from analysts that the borrowing targets this year might not be achieved.

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Seems a long time since I saw that. Even in full austerity mode, government strategy was to set attainable targets for tax rises and spending cuts, which it would quite often exceed. That went down well with the troika and the debt ratings agencies.

Now it is the much pleasanter job of tax cuts and spending increases but the targets seem just as difficult to meet, even though the economy is growing vigorously.

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