Wednesday 13 December 2017

Get ready for mid-Eighties nostalgia

Arguing for a 'tax and spend' policy shows either well-meaning ignorance or self-interested cynicism, writes Marc Coleman

Sinn Feiners and me feiners? Of those arguing for a halt or delay in getting our fiscal act together, most can be put into one of these two categories.

As of last Wednesday, this column was going to be a response to the growing chorus of public sector economists. A chorus arguing not for cuts in waste or excessive spending -- quelle surprise -- but, yes, you guessed it, more tax increases on the private sector.

For now, however, a more fundamental issue is pressing: should we -- as Sinn Fein, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) argue -- delay fiscal adjustment to 2016? Should we even, as others urge, try spending our way out of crisis?

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