Consultant covers all the options


BOY did Ruairi Quinn know what he was doing when he fobbed off the pre-Budget submissions on the Dail Finance and General Affairs Committee.

In the past, everyone's time was wasted by the annual trooping of the lobby groups to meet the Minister of Finance, present the submission and, most importantly, have the picture taken to show members that they were on the job.

But, from this year, all submissions have to be lodged with the committee, which is chaired by Jim Mitchell, for its consideration. It is to start its questioning of selected groups on their views next week, before forwarding a report to the Minister by November.

The Margin's man in the bowels of Leinster House says that some 90 submissions have been received so far, many of them lengthy tomes.

Apparently such is the volume of pre-Budget bumpf that a consultant has been hired to help sift through and cost the proposals. And the main in the hot seat is none other than Peter Bacon, former Goodbody stockbroker managing director and later adviser to Bertie. Wise indeed is the consultant who gets hired by administrations of all hues!