Opinion Brendan Keenan

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Same old ways of doing things will not work in the future

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

IT is a sign of how far politics has fallen that the new-found enthusiasm for Dáil reform was greeted with near universal cynicism. Yet a genuine change to the way things are done in the national parliament may be the only chance of getting through the next few years without serious economic and political damage.

Fine Gael's big new idea is the widening of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) into an Independent Fiscal and Budget Office (IFBO) which, among other things, would cost budget proposals and election manifestos from all political parties.

On the face of it, this is very big of Fine Gael. As well as causing a rumpus over the 2016 Budget, IFAC may well have played a key role in the party's election manifesto coming off the rails, when it queried the original €12bn "fiscal space" contained in that document.

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