Despite being planned under the shadow of Brexit, Budget 2020 has given most of us no financial cushion to absorb the higher prices and other financial challenges which we could face following the UK's departure from the EU. The dearth of income tax and social welfare giveaways means many of us are no better off than in 2019. The carbon tax hike - which is already being felt by motorists - will hit many homeowners from next May, when the rise kicks in for home heating fuels.
Politics is in essence all about choices. This is particularly the case when resources are limited and you can't cater for all as you would like to do. As this Government delivers a prudent Budget in the shadow of Brexit, I have chosen to ensure that we get maximum impact for families - particularly vulnerable children and older people.
One of the most widely accepted notions in politics is that governments like to cut taxes and increase public spending before an election in a bid to buy voters with their own money.
IS Fine Gael trolling young people? Even for a generation used to being snubbed by those in power, watching Paschal Donohoe deliver Budget 2020 yesterday felt like a kick in the teeth. "Absolutely no surprises," Paschal had said. We're still on track to be a generation collectively poorer than our parents.
Paschal Donohoe wasn't inclined to give direct payments to parents this year, either in the form of increased Child Benefit (which benefits everyone, irrespective of need), or help toward eye-wateringly expensive childcare by way of a tax break. Instead, the gifts came small and indirectly.
TO UNDERSTAND the importance of this Budget for housing, we have to consider that the Help-to-Buy scheme has been the single most effective aspect of Government policy since the start of the housing crisis.
PASCHAL Donohoe has decided to take a careful, tentative step into the political minefield of climate change. Most people agree that climate change has to be stopped and that Ireland needs to do more.
Ever since the Brexit referendum it has felt as if Ireland's ship of State - a currach compared with the British dreadnought - was being buffeted by adverse weather conditions. So it was quite a surprise to hear our condition is seaworthy, despite a crash-out Brexit on the horizon.
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