Sunday 30 April 2017

Donohoe faces the challenge of his career trying to balance the books

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe outside Government Buildings. Photo:Tom Burke
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe outside Government Buildings. Photo:Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Finally they tell us what we already knew was inevitable: you cannot lash out big public pay rises without a reduction in services. The dark shadow of Brexit makes things additionally uncertain.

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe is facing the challenge of his political life. If he and his Cabinet colleagues mishandle this one, we could be headed back to the misery we are slowly shaking off.

The 'Sunday Independent' yesterday reported that an overall review of public spending will happen as preparations ramp up for next autumn's Budget. The last time this was done was in 2014 and there have been big changes since then on the fiscal, economic and political front. The first discussions are expected to start at tomorrow's Cabinet meeting and a deadline of March 16 has been fixed for each minister to identify his or her department's spending priorities and plans.

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