Brian Keegan: Businesses deserve a reward after such a tough year

It’s clear from the November exchequer returns that Irish firms have been doing the right thing throughout the coronavirus crisis

Eamonn O’Malley preparing the Old Stand pub in Dublin for reopening. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/

The exchequer figures published last week confirmed that, as a nation, we are spending vast sums to deal with the consequences of the pandemic. We have spent €10.5 billion more than was planned for in 2020.

The bulk of this overspend, by a considerable distance, was not in the health budget but in social protection, dealing with the fallout from work stoppages and redundancies. Not as much tax materialised as was expected either, but lurking ...