Monday 20 November 2017

New ideas needed on global meltdown

AFTER five months in office, the Government deserves some measure of approval for its efforts to control the public finances. But to speak of recovery, or even stability, would be a mockery. The Exchequer returns for the first seven months of this year show the economy bumping, as expected, along the bottom.

They contain two key figures. The Exchequer deficit for the seven months stands at €18.9bn, and revenue from VAT is down by €190m, or almost 3pc.

It is too soon to judge whether the recent partial reductions in VAT rates have had any effect, but there certainly is no encouragement to optimism in this or any other set of figures made available lately. One of the most discouraging comes from a survey carried out by the economic consultants Indecon.

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