Tuesday 21 February 2017

Real Budget surprise came from watchdog

Published 15/10/2015 | 02:30

Professor John McHale
Professor John McHale

To the chagrin of some the Budget lacked an expected 'sugar tax', but given that it was so full of sweeteners, perhaps that's not such a surprise.

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The real surprise came with Professor John McHale of the Fiscal Advisory Council popping up on RTÉ in an unprecedented move, to express unease at the size of the Government's spending package.

The council had previously endorsed the terms of Budget 2016, which included an increase of €1.5bn in the size of the Budget. It had not, however, expected a similar amount of spending going into this year's Budget by way of supplementary spending. We were caught on the hop again when Professor McHale surfaced once more, this time to pull back from some of the claims he had made earlier.

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