Thursday 8 December 2016

It seems Howlin doesn't appreciate the dangers of a giveaway budget

Published 18/06/2015 | 02:30

Brendan Howlin’s comments this week “have echoes of the attempts during the bubble to silence those who warned of the risks with the accusation that they were ‘talking down the economy’”. Photo: Mark Condren
Brendan Howlin’s comments this week “have echoes of the attempts during the bubble to silence those who warned of the risks with the accusation that they were ‘talking down the economy’”. Photo: Mark Condren

In just four months' time, provided it is still in office, the Government will unveil the details of its final budget. It has already revealed that it intends Budget 2016 to be the most expansionary since before the crash.

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Spending increases and tax cuts will be implemented even though the economy is the fastest growing in Europe and does not need such stimulus. They will be implemented even though all the money that is "given back" in the budget will be borrowed. They will be implemented even though the independent public finances watchdog has said that planned spending increases are a breach of the "spirit and letter" of the Government's own rules.

Pointing these facts out irks some people in Government. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin is irked more than most.

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