Tuesday 12 December 2017

We must play by the rules of a different Budget game

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

You have the advantage of me. You know what was in Tuesday's Budget whereas, as the time of writing, I do not. Still, one must make the best of any situation and there may be no harm in looking at the run-up to Budget day.

That does tend to get forgotten once the details have been revealed. The fuss over whether those details are good, bad or indifferent may be one explanation as to why the system of preparing the Budget, both political and practical, seems so difficult to change.

This year certainly appeared to illustrate that. As the Budget grew nearer, economic forecasts became more upbeat and the monthly Exchequer returns on revenue and expenditure grew ever healthier. At the end of last month, tax revenues were €1.7bn, almost 6pc, above last October's target.

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