Sunday 4 December 2016

Unhealthy tendency to binge is reflected in boom and bust Budget

Published 15/10/2015 | 02:30

Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin
Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin

Are we a nation that doesn't mind suffering bad economic hangovers as long as we can enjoy budgetary binges whenever we get half a chance? Or, alternatively, is our political class unable to inform and lead the nation so that we lessen the chances of good times getting out of hand, with very painful consequences afterwards?

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Put another way, is Ireland's extended history of boom and bust a reflection of wider society or is it a result of bad government?

I don't know the answer to that question, but Tuesday's Budget highlighted it as one that needs answering. Before pondering it a bit more, let's dispel any notion that Tuesday's Budget was prudent.

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