Saturday 19 August 2017

As Budget looms, clear message is that people deserve a break

IRISH people's austerity fatigue is justified and heartfelt – but weariness of harsh medicine is not the best argument for a change to less onerous economic remedies. With Budget Day almost two months early this year, those political Budget kites are flying all the earlier. The original plan was for a €3.1bn austerity package in terms of cutbacks and extra taxes for 2014.

But government advances on bank debt terms have left some €600m leeway on that package. Assuming they can fend off pressure from the troika not to scale back austerity, the next question will be how to allocate this new-found "leeway''?

All signs so far are that the debate is breaking down along predictable lines: Labour wants to mitigate the proposed €440m in welfare cuts; Fine Gael wants the vast bulk of the money to go on job creation projects.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss