Minister in driving seat with €75bn

Lucky is the finance minister who can ‘‘give away’’ €2 billion on Budget Day and still, with some justification, say that he is being prudent.

21st October, 2006

Doubly lucky is one who can then prepare a seven year investment spending programme –the new National Development Plan (NDP) –which will outline government investment spending plans in the region of €75 billion over the next seven years, to be published a month later.

While there will be the usual political scraps over the budget, it is the shape of the NDP –and the efficiency with which it is delivered – which will...

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