Friday 2 December 2016

John Drennan: Dumb austerity will strangle State

Noonan and Howlin's Budget just proved the fiscal illiteracy of the mandarins in Finance, writes John Drennan

Published 11/12/2011 | 05:00

DOCTORS OF DOOM: Finance Minister Michael Noonan, left, and Public Expenditure Minister
Brendan Howlin risk depressing the economy with their Budget. Photo: Tom Burke
DOCTORS OF DOOM: Finance Minister Michael Noonan, left, and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin risk depressing the economy with their Budget. Photo: Tom Burke

The first Budget to be delivered by a Fine Gael minister in a quarter of a century was an eerie affair. One might have expected that after such a lacuna, the boutiques of rural Ireland would have been cleared of stock as the celebratory tribe prepared for their moment of triumph.

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Instead, within the Dail the deserted car parks and empty bars bore a closer resemblance to the Marie Celeste. It was the same for Brendan Howlin too, for in as fine a piece of pathetic fiscal fallacy as we have ever seen, during his address, the nation was as spectral and as still as the Ancient Mariner's 'painted ship upon a painted ocean'.

As isolated TDs flitted through deserted corridors it was clear bankruptcy is, even on Budget day, an orphan.

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