Friday 9 December 2016

Hope will turn to anger as reality of our spending power hits home

New EU rules will limit how much the next Government can spend - it's a lot less than we think

Published 24/01/2016 | 02:30

Why the long face: If Michael Noonan believes his own spin then there's little for the finance minister or his government colleagues to worry about Photo Steve Humphreys
Why the long face: If Michael Noonan believes his own spin then there's little for the finance minister or his government colleagues to worry about Photo Steve Humphreys

Government coffers are not swelling by as much as the spin would have you believe. Most politicians appear unaware of how limited they will be in the future to spend more money. These two points were driven home forcefully over the past week.

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Let's start with the gushing talk about cash pouring into the vaults of the Department of Finance.

In the early days of every month, the department publishes the "exchequer returns", often to great fanfare. When the latest returns came out at the beginning of the month, you might have been forgiven for believing that all our fiscal problems had been solved, such was the upbeat reaction of ministers and many commentators.

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