Saturday 25 November 2017

Brendan Keenan: Spending surgeon emerges as the economists' favourite

Lenihan may shy away from tax hikes in the forthcoming Budget, but going after property cannot be discounted

SPENDING cuts, rather than tax rises, was the official message from the Cabinet brainstorming at Farmleigh. The economists will like it, but will the voters?

It is never too early to think of the electoral cycle. It may be that professional politicians never stop thinking of it. John FitzGerald, senior research professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) certainly thought it was time to take it into account.

There are, after all, two Budgets at most between now and a general election, and €5bn more to be found in Budget corrections, according to the Great Plan.

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