Monday 11 December 2017

Management of policy matters now more than ever before

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan

Michael Noonan has taught the normally technocratic economic community an important lesson. Economic policies must be politically managed. Where they are not well managed, disaster will strike as surely as the overly chubby hate three steep flights of stairs.

Knocking back IMF statements that Ireland would need to implement more than €2bn worth of cuts and tax increases in order to reach the troika-mandated deficit target of 3pc of national output, Noonan said: "There is a different set of skills needed if you are a politician running a government department to someone working for the IMF. It is not all cut and dried. I am a democrat and I have to bring the people with me."

It looks increasingly likely that, once it is clear the 3pc target will be met through growth and carryover effects from the year before, the €2bn in cuts will be jettisoned, and the Government will spin a €1.8bn adjustment as evidence of 'regaining sovereignty'.

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