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Catherine’s Vat defeat, O’Brien’s door slams and McGrath’s leadership audition: How did ministers fare in Budget giveaway

Fionnán Sheahan


Norma Foley and Roderic O’Gorman big winners in €11bn bonanza – but Darragh O’Brien and Leo Varadkar stumble

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Children's Minister Roderic O’Gorman had his biggest win of a tricky tenure with an average 25pc cut to childcare fees. For Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, the €12 increase in the pension and social welfare core payments is a flashpoint of the Budget. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Children's Minister Roderic O’Gorman had his biggest win of a tricky tenure with an average 25pc cut to childcare fees. For Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, the €12 increase in the pension and social welfare core payments is a flashpoint of the Budget. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

After a giveaway Budget, Taoiseach Micheál Martin will be looking for an opinion poll bump while Norma Foley can point to the introduction of free school books for primary level as a significant achievement. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

After a giveaway Budget, Taoiseach Micheál Martin will be looking for an opinion poll bump while Norma Foley can point to the introduction of free school books for primary level as a significant achievement. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe (right) and Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath deliver Budget 2023

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe (right) and Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath deliver Budget 2023

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Children's Minister Roderic O’Gorman had his biggest win of a tricky tenure with an average 25pc cut to childcare fees. For Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, the €12 increase in the pension and social welfare core payments is a flashpoint of the Budget. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

The €11bn cost-of-living budget is on a par with anything delivered during the halcyon days of the Celtic Tiger.

And yet it almost feels like running to stand still. In the midst of inflation, interest rate and electricity bill rises, Budget 2023 isn’t short of measures to somewhat compensate for the price hikes.


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