Friday 9 December 2016

Brave assessment of failings shouldn't be dismissed

Thomos Molloy

Published 04/06/2015 | 02:30

Prof McHale is one of the frontrunners to succeed Patrick Honohan as the governor of the Central Bank
Prof McHale is one of the frontrunners to succeed Patrick Honohan as the governor of the Central Bank

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council was imposed on the country by the troika as a response to the financial crisis. Like many good troika ideas, it has yet to win a place in the Establishment's heart despite the obvious need for such a council. It would be closer to the truth to say the Establishment has tried to suffocate the council since birth by ensuring it remains underfunded.

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It is all too easy to predict the response from ministers today after the council's assessment is published - bland indifference.

Government spokesmen will dismiss the council's findings and note, correctly, that the council does not have a stellar record when it comes to making predictions. What will be left unsaid is that the Government's predictions over the years also leave a lot to be desired. The argument about forecasts is sterile; none of us know what will happen next week, let alone next year. What we do know is whether we have made prudent plans for most eventualities.

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