Hard times, easy money: Michael Noonan unveils a feel-good budget

Hard times, easy money: Michael Noonan unveils a feel-good budget
Brendan Howlin and Michael Noonan pose outside Government Buildings before delivering last Tuesday’s budget in the Dáil Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

But how effective will it actually be in tackling the problems that face the country?

Budgets aren’t what they used to be.

When the Fine Gael-Labour government was agonising over the austerity budgets of the coalition’s early years, division and drama abounded. Negotiations frequently went down to the wire. On one memorable Saturday evening cabinet meeting in 2012, Labour ministers walked out to confer on the budget amongst themselves. A deal was done later that night.

This wasn’t play-acting. Politicians do not spend years trying to become ministers so...

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