Saturday 3 December 2016

We must protect ourselves against the 'three horsemen of economic apocalypse'

Published 17/10/2016 | 02:30

Finance Minister Michael Noonan ‘made a reasonable fist of the Budget’. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin
Finance Minister Michael Noonan ‘made a reasonable fist of the Budget’. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Budgets can be like small dogs, treat them with respect and attention, and they are your best friend; but make any startling moves and they will bite you from behind.

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Like the old dusty barometers that used to hang in the hallways of big houses, they also should be able to give you a good read on the pressures within and without, both politically and economically.

When I was finance minister 25 years ago, the deficit was -0.4, it is now 0.9pc of GDP. When I left office in my last full year in 2007, the current deficit was 7.6pc and the debt-to-GDP ratio was 20pc. Today, it is 74pc.

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