Thursday 19 April 2018

Joke is on us over €3.6bn

Did you hear the one about the Irish government that mislaid €3.6bn? It sounds like an Irish joke but unfortunately it's true, and the joke is on us.

Yesterday's announcement that there was a €3.6bn "error" in the public finances and that the Government owed €3.6bn less than previously thought, the equivalent of more than 2pc of our annual economic output, once again raises serious questions about the ability of the Department of Finance and the NTMA to do their jobs properly.

At a time when many families are financially hard-pressed and would instantly notice the difference if there was an unexplained €36 sitting in their bank account, the notion that the Department of Finance, supposedly the premier civil service department, and the NTMA, whose extremely highly-paid employees we have been led to believe have brains coming out of their ears, could between them manage to overlook a €3.6bn double-counting error beggars belief.

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