Budget 2019: Political theatre and policy instrument

Budget 2019: Political theatre and policy instrument

The budget as political theatre implies some hikes in current spending for pensions and other areas, while increasing taxes on hospitality and the usual cigarettes and alcohol

Only two more sleeps to budget day! Yes, Christmas for economic wonks and special interest groups is coming, and with it heaps of graphs, tons of tables, and dozens of delicious op-eds. As usual, the entire debate will focus on the increases in taxes and spending, rather than the entire stack of spending and its composition. The government will spend about €70 or €71 billion in gross terms. Last year it spent around €69 billion. So our entire debate will take place over less than 2 per cent of the total spend. It’s all about who gets how many sweeties. How very 2007 of us.

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