TUESDAY’S Budget 2016 announcement proved a huge anti-climax especially as so much of what it contained had been leaked in advance. This government’s fifth budget, and final one before its term of office ends with the forthcoming general election, was always destined to be a giveaway affair as politicians feel that voters need to be bought.
The irony, however, is that the largesse that was dispensed was borrowed money, seeing we are still not taking in enough in revenues to pay for our day-to-day expenditure. Indeed, with the economy’s current growth rates, one has to question if it even needed such a boost and whether more money should have been diverted towards paying down some of the national debt.
A lot of the gloss of the giveaway budget was dulled by all the speculation in the week leading into it was about what the likely general election date might be. The Taoiseach had only himself to blame for this as he continued to fuel the speculation by refusing to deny the likelihood of a November election for a whole week, creating a media frenzy that the government could well have done without.