Friday 24 November 2017

Brendan Keenan: Politicians are still telling simple citizens not to worry

Proper analysis might well find that changing tax and payment rates is not the best option

SO Brian Lenihan was right after all. The worst is over. You may remember the pasting the late Mr Lenihan received for uttering those words. Perhaps his timing was a bit out, but you would think his experience would be a warning to all politicians not to try to cheer us up before we are ready.

Yet here comes Michael Noonan, telling us that this year's Budget will be only two-thirds as bad as last year's. Which, on any mathematical basis, can be translated as, "The worst is over."

Mr Noonan seems to have gotten away with it rather better than Mr Lenihan did. Perhaps the use of a fraction helped. As we know from the Leaving Cert results, maths is not the national strong suit. We are a literary people. A pithy saying will always get more of a reaction than something with a numerator and denominator in it.

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