Thursday 19 January 2017

Feelgood vibe should just be enough for Labour

Gerard O'Regan

Published 18/10/2015 | 02:30

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin and Finance Minister Michael Noonan at the Budget 2016 media briefing at Government Buildings, Dublin
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin and Finance Minister Michael Noonan at the Budget 2016 media briefing at Government Buildings, Dublin

Brendan Howlin just might be the hero of the Fine Gael-Labour partnership, now fast approaching its end times as General Election fever simpers through the body politic. It has been a good week for the Government, with a carefully thought-out, very, very, crafty political budget, designed to squeeze the last possible vote come hustings time.

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Inevitably, it's a plan not without its critics. But it could also be a road map which might nudge the economy forward. On a simplistic level, the fact that punters in general will have a few extra euro in their pockets should be good for business all round.

After the rigidity of the austerity straitjacket, a loosening of the purse strings is consoling for the country's head space, if nothing else. On the other hand, those who worry about our debt levels being too high are right to sound a cautionary tale.

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