Tuesday 22 August 2017

Close to point of no return

WE are coming closer and closer to the point of no return. For the past two days, the Cabinet has been talking behind closed doors and soon we will be told precisely how the country is expected to bring down exchequer borrowing to 3pc of GDP by 2014.

While keeping their cards close to their chests, ministers have intimated that they are struggling to come up with a Budget that seems "fair" but which will not have too great a deflationary effect on the economy. It is quite a challenge and probably impossible. "Fairness" lies in the eye of the beholder.

There are suggestions that the Government has decided against attempting to bring the Budget deficit below the 10pc level next year, which means the slash and burn that will be announced on December 7 may not be as severe as it might have been.

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