Government anger, arising from critical comments made by a European Commission official about water charge concessions, is understandable on a number (...)

A protest against water charges in Dublin last month.  Economist Jim Power warned on Tuesday that the only chance the current government has of getting back into power is another year of economic growth to facilitate a give away Budget next October. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

The Government’s decision to ignore the advice of the Troika and the Fiscal Advisory Council in opting for a less punitive budgetary approach in Budge(...)

Minister for Jobs and Enterprise  Richard Bruton: “We have shown significant improvements in our cost position and that is reflected by  surveys of the National Competitiveness Council.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ireland’s international economic competitiveness had improved significantly in recent years, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bru(...)

Prof John McHale, chairman, and Thomas Conefrey, chief economist, of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council at its assessment report launch in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Exports may be back, driving GDP growth once more, but are these growth figures less credible than might appear at first glance? According to t(...)

Tuesday’s Budget was a “missed opportunity” Moody’s has said. .Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Budget 2015 represents a “missed opportunity” for the country to further reduce its elevated debt levels and leaves the Irish economy “more vulnerable(...)

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: As some of the power has seeped back to Dublin, the transition has elicited another form of instability: narrow sectional interests flex their muscles for the first time in what seems an age

The way in which we formulate and implement fiscal policy is not fit for purpose. The run-up to each budget has become a lobbyist’s paradise; politica(...)

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

This Government - and the last one -- spent the last few years following a budget script largely prepared by the troika. Heading into next Tuesday’s 2(...)

‘While endless columns and air time are sacrificed to fulminations over the McNulty fiasco, the would-be stroke that has reduced the Oireachtas to an orgiastic lather can be reduced to one small and boring fact: Enda Kenny’s contempt for the Seanad.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / THE IRISH TIMES

There are times when Prof Morgan Kelly’s dismissive description of this State as “tiny and boring” is annoyingly apt. Our political dramas are small a(...)

Last gasp of the Celtic Tiger, as builders take a morning break on Pearse Street, Dublin in August, 2009. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times 2:56

Everybody wants to know when the government will really ease up on austerity and let us live a little. The latest official figures – showing sparkling(...)

How can you tell the electorate that the economy is healing but you must cut spending once again. Photograph: Eric Luke
Noonan and Howlin’s budget dilemma
  • Economy
  • September 23, 2014, 01:00

Social media is not the real world. It is a sort of parallel universe and generalising from Twitter and Facebook to the tangible world is fraught with(...)