Analysis > budget

David Murphy: Don’t expect a giveaway Budget

It is less than five weeks to the Budget and the annual routine of ministers arguing their cases for more money for their departments is well under way. Many of the ministers have legitimate cases. Despite the remarkable economic turnaround money is tight. EU rules prevent countries from excessive borrowing to pay for day-to-day spending. This week Minister for Finance Michael Noonan tried to manage expectations regarding the amount of money available. He stood by the Government’s previously stated position …

The Governor writes…

You wouldn’t expect the Governor of the Central Bank to recommend the Government does something wacky in the Budget, and in his pre-budget letter to the Minister for Finance, the governor doesn’t disappoint. His key recommendations are, firstly a long-term need to reduce debt well below the 60% limit set by the Maastricht Treaty and, secondly any budget-day help for first time buyers should not make things worse. The Governor would like to see long-term budgetary targets that can “act …

The real story behind Ireland’s ‘Leprechaun’ economics fiasco

Over the past few days we have learned much about the true story behind Ireland’s so-called “Leprechaun” economic figures. Senior civil servants and ministers were blindsided by the astonishing 26% economic growth figures for 2015 from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) – issued on 12 July. Some of the mandarins found out after the media, who were given the information under embargo 30 minutes in advance of publication at a press briefing. When the statisticians dropped their bombshell last week, ministers …

The European Commission recommends…

We are now halfway through the budget-making process for 2017, the point at which the European Commission sends out Country-specific Recommendations to member states – key issues to be dealt with in the national budget plans that are to be published in mid October. They boil down to calls to broaden the tax base, prioritise capital spending on transport, water services and housing, tweak social welfare policy to concentrate on the high number of “low work intensity households” in Ireland, …

The hat-trick – three EPP prime ministers struggle in post-bailout elections

So it’s a hat trick – three in a row. First Portugal, then Spain, now Ireland. Three post-bailout countries went to the polls over the past five months. All were led by prime ministers from the European Peoples Party (EPP), the mainstream conservative block in Europe. All three emerged from their elections as the biggest party in parliament. None of them could put together a new government. And nor could the opposition (with the heavily qualified exception of Portugal – …

A prescription for change?

In July, Leo Varadkar was appointed as Minister for Health and spent much of the time since reading into the weighty portfolio. But he has not been quiet and keeping in character, landed himself in hot water recently over some Budget remarks, which irked the Taoiseach.

Money Talks

By RTÉ Europe Correspondent Paul Cunningham It’s budget time in Brussels – drafting a trillion euro financial plan for the years 2014 to 2020. EU leaders want agreement by November, and so decision time looms. The EU budget is of particular importance to Irish ministers this time round.

Spanish budget may offer bailout clues

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, in Madrid Now that the Spanish budget has been presented we should know more about when the government of Mariano Rajoy will move into full bailout mode. The centre-right prime minister has delayed long and hard before seeking a rescue, but the European Commission has warned that it is a dangerous game which could deepen the country’s economic woes, and stop the fragile sense of eurozone optimism in its tracks.