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
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.
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.