Monday 19 February 2018

Pray that our politicians can get it right this time round

Minister for finance Michael Noonan and minister for public expenditure Brendan Howlin deliver the Spring Economic Statement. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Minister for finance Michael Noonan and minister for public expenditure Brendan Howlin deliver the Spring Economic Statement. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

For every man, woman and child in the country the Government will spend €1,000 more than it takes in this year. Next year the gap in spending over revenue per person will narrow a tad, to €780. Only in distant 2019 are the State's books to be balanced.

These are some of the facts that emerged this week from the Coalition's Spring Statement, and the much meatier document it is obliged to submit to Brussels on the state of the public finances over the medium term. These facts might not exist for all the coverage they got.

Much more commonly heard were comments to the effect that the Government has "money to play with", as if it were in clover. It is not.

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