McCreevy got the pain, Cowen got the gain

The budget formally signals the beginning of the festive season in Irish politics.

4th December, 2004

The budget formally signals the beginning of the festive season in Irish politics. For the next few weeks, our public representatives will be packing envelopes with greeting cards for their 3,000 closest friends. If you're lucky enough to be on Ivor Callely's list, you'll understand exactly how tasteful these can be.

This will be followed by a frantic schedule of attending parties thrown by every form of club and institution - with an appropriate gift required...

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