Saturday 16 December 2017

Getting their priorities right

THE striking thing about the Budget proposals from Fine Gael and Labour is the lack of reference to the rescue agreement with the EU and IMF. The visitor from Mars would hardly guess that the most momentous economic event in 90 years of independence had even happened.

Fine Gael's opening statement criticises the four-year plan as if it were entirely the Government's own idea, and the Government's own doing; whereas we all know that it was the EU Commission which insisted on doubling the correction to €15bn, and the ECB which insisted on an immediate rescue package, to provide more funds for the banks.

The opposition parties are entitled to lambast the Government for bringing this to this pass, and are broadly right in what they say. But the tax and spending proposals -- especially those of the Labour Party -- would undoubtedly require a renegotiation of the agreement with the EU and IMF.

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