Opinion

Thursday 18 January 2018

Budget 2018: King of courtesy prepares to unveil his first Budget, as demands grow

Over the coming week, Paschal Donohoe will have to drop the mask and make some tough calls, writes Philip Ryan

Initial Budget: Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe
Initial Budget: Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

There is an air of trepidation among some of the Dail's more free-speaking deputies ahead of this year's Budget Day. TDs supporting or facilitating the minority Government were happy to bang their desks and make demands before the inaugural Budget under the new regime.

Last year, there were daily calls for pension hikes, tax cuts and grants for sheep. Political posturing was carried out in the full glare of the public as our politicians got used to the dysfunctionality of 'new politics'. They all wanted a piece of the fiscal pie before the EU ruined our spending and tax-cut plans with restrictive rules. Eventually the rows, contrived or otherwise, were resolved. By the time the now former Minister for Finance Michael Noonan took to his feet in the Dail chamber, everyone was happy.

This year, it's different.

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