Wednesday 26 July 2017

Comment: Leo's first mistake is a big one - and it could leave us all with a heavy price to pay

Paschal Donohoe has been appointed Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform. Photo: Tom Burke
Paschal Donohoe has been appointed Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform. Photo: Tom Burke

Brendan Howlin

Leo Varadkar has been elected Taoiseach. And his first decision has been to appoint one man to lead both the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It didn't take long for him to make his first big mistake.

Back in 2010, after the economic crisis had taken hold, an external review of the Department of Finance was carried out. That review found that there was a significant lack of expertise in the Department of Finance, and recommended that public service management and development be moved to a new department. Now that our country is growing again, it seems that Leo Varadkar is happy to forget the lessons we learned from the crisis.

The Department of Finance will be driven by its fiscal hawks. Always has, always will be.

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