Dan O’Brien: Politicians on populist spending sprees are a worry for the financial grown-ups

The risk-blindness and complacency of the bad old days seem to be back with the political class acting as though the spending of borrowed money will solve every ill

10th October, 2021
Dan O’Brien: Politicians on populist spending sprees are a worry for the financial grown-ups
‘Risk-blindness is back with a vengeance in Leinster House as politicians try to out-compete each other on the size and scope of the largesse they intend to dispense.’ Picture: Julien Behal

There was a time when Fianna Fáil’s 1977 election manifesto was a byword for economic insanity. Memories may have faded now, but back then the country’s dominant party promised all things to all people from the wilderness of the opposition benches.

The economic populism contained in that document, and acted upon when the party won power, ended as economic populism always does: in disaster.

For most of the western world,...

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