Noonan proves to be a skilled goose plucker
Michael Noonan stood up in the Dail yesterday to present the second half of a Budget billed in advance as the harshest ever.
The Finance Minister's immediate task was to announce €1.6bn in tax increases, to follow the €2.2bn in spending cuts unveiled by the Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin on Monday.
The background was grim. Since last March, the Fine Gael-Labour coalition had struggled to make a start on rectifying a devastated economy.