Thursday 18 January 2018

Unhealthy tendency to binge is reflected in boom and bust Budget

Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin
Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

Are we a nation that doesn't mind suffering bad economic hangovers as long as we can enjoy budgetary binges whenever we get half a chance? Or, alternatively, is our political class unable to inform and lead the nation so that we lessen the chances of good times getting out of hand, with very painful consequences afterwards?

Put another way, is Ireland's extended history of boom and bust a reflection of wider society or is it a result of bad government?

I don't know the answer to that question, but Tuesday's Budget highlighted it as one that needs answering. Before pondering it a bit more, let's dispel any notion that Tuesday's Budget was prudent.

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