Michael Brennan: Budget 2022 set to be a holding operation for the government

With the next budget just four weeks away, setting enough money aside to maintain ‘existing levels of service’ is the main preoccupation of the coalition and its civil servants

19th September, 2021
Michael Brennan: Budget 2022 set to be a holding operation for the government
Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Finance, will have just €1 billion available for new spending and €500 million for tax cuts on October 12. Picture: Julien Behal

The discussions about Budget 2022 so far have been concentrated on what civil servants call “ELS”. Those initials stand for “existing level of service”, and they matter because the budget needs to contain enough money to keep paying for the staff and services that are already there.

Michael McGrath, the Minister for Public Expenditure, told the cabinet last week that there would be an increase of at least €3.1 billion in current...

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