Spending plans require broad tax base - CPA Ireland president

Nano Brennan says over 100 budget commitments must be funded

Mark Hilliard

The new head of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland has cautioned the Government against a regime of spending without a durable tax base to support it.

Such an approach in the private sector, she said, would put an organisation out of business.

Nano Brennan said the new programme for Government would require a "dramatic aggregate increase in public spending but little thought seems to have gone into where the money is going to come from".


In particular, she said, there was an issue around a potential cut in health expenditure as a consequence of suspending water charges.

“If ever there was a case for broadening the tax base to ensure that resources are available to fund all of our public services all of the time, this is it.”

Ms Brennan is a local government auditor who works on behalf of the Department of the Environment.

“At a rough estimate there are well over 100 commitments to new spending in the programme but no detailed estimates of the costs of them or how they will be paid for,” she said.

“If any commercial business was to prepare a business plan in a similar manner, it would quickly go out of business.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times