Saturday 17 February 2018

People need proof their sacrifices are not in vain

THE Central Bank has spoken. That in itself is to be welcomed. A major criticism of the bank during the bubble years was that it failed to warn plainly or forcefully enough about the dangers facing the economy. The same cannot be said of yesterday's statement on policy for the October Budget. The bank nailed its colours to the plough-on-regardless argument – what has become known as "austerity".

It wants the Budget to contain the full €3.1bn in spending cuts and tax rises, even though the public finances are ahead of target and the Government has €1bn to play with as a result of the deal on the Anglo promissory notes.

The bank is to be commended for its clarity and new-found courage. This a hot political topic, with the scale of the October Budget the subject of intense debate within the Government, and of considerable argument between the Government and the troika.

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