Budget 2019 has been and gone. What did it all mean?
When it comes to the budget of a nation, to understand what’s going on, don’t look at the headlines. Don’t even look at the text. Look at overarching messages, then the tables, the figures and, most importantly, the footnotes
In the past, the budget satisfied two competing objectives. At a policy level, it was the purest expression of the power of the executive to make changes to the life of the people of the Republic through tax and spend decisions. At a political level, it was also a way to purchase the loyalty of large groups of people by increases in current spending like child benefit, pensions and social protection payments.
Today, the budget...
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