A budgetary balancing act
THE slow bicycle race towards recovery teeters onward, shakily perhaps, but still in the right direction. The amount of tax collected by the Government in the first six months of 2010 was just 1.6pc below target, close enough to allow the minister to declare it "in line with expectations".
The fact that the take from income tax is smaller than expected shows that the jobs crisis is growing worse, according to the new Fine Gael finance spokesman, Michael Noonan. It could also reflect shorter working hours, lower pay and people joining the black economy, says the Department of Finance.
However, the income from VAT and corporation tax was greater than expected and day-to-day government spending is more or less on target for the year.