We may yet pay a heavy price for Government seizure of leprechauns' pot of gold
One good thing to be said about this week's Budget: it made a 97-year-old acquaintance of mine laugh. He had just been told that his pension would go up by a fiver a week, but not until March. When you're that age, and not very well, that's funny.
In general, though, no-one had much good to say about the Budget, and hardly anyone was laughing. There is a theory that a budget which looks bad on the day often looks good six months later, and vice versa, but it is hard to see that being true of the 2017 effort.
This is all a bit alarming. The Budget was as generous as could be - and quite possibly more generous than it ought to have been. As the politics unrolled, a €500m net benefit to the citizens doubled to a billion and then the famous drawer at the back of the Department of Finance cupboard yielded another €300m.