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(...)

A pick-up in consumer spending has been forecast consistently for more than a year but has yet to appear.

Some time ago, economist and columnist John Kay examined the record of 34 British forecasters over a seven-year period. His analysis revealed two thin(...)

Irish Times columnist Noel Whelan and Frank Flannery   at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties.  Flanery warned that Fine Gael Ministers Ministers tend to be  captured by the civil service and become more and more detached from the public the longer they remain in office.  (North West Newspix)

The message emanating from the last Cabinet meeting before the summer break on Wednesday was clear: as far as the Coalition is concerned the era of(...)

It is surely not beyond the wit of Brussels to devise policies that boost regional capital spending while keeping a lid on the more fiscally irresponsible ambitions of local politicians. Photograph: Reuters

Mixed messages from economic data are nothing new. Anyone looking for a steer from the most recent run of numbers will be forgiven for being confused.(...)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan.

Making laws to give effect to what are, indisputably, policies is not what governments usually do. But the impact of climate change is an excep(...)