Saturday 21 October 2017

We may yet pay a heavy price for Government seizure of leprechauns' pot of gold

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor pictured at a press conference after the Budget was announced last week Photo: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor pictured at a press conference after the Budget was announced last week Photo: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency
Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

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.

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