Saturday 18 November 2017

Budget-split talk is bad news

Talk of an emerging split between the two government parties over the shape of next December's Budget is not good news for the Irish economy.

With Fine Gael seemingly inclined to accept the advice of the Fiscal Advisory Council, which is recommending spending cuts and tax increases of up to €4.4bn and Labour is apparently determined to stick with the original target of €3.6bn, the last thing we need now is a government split on the issue.

Another tough Budget is required in December if Ireland is to meet its 2012 deficit target of no more than 8.6pc of GDP, which has been agreed with the EU and the IMF. While there is nothing of intrinsic importance in an 8.6pc budget deficit as against, say, a 9pc budget deficit, it is nevertheless vital that we at least meet and hopefully better the 8.6pc target.

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