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Thursday’s Top Stories: Budget watchdog accuses Coalition of ‘fiscal gimmickry’, One in five complaints about gardaí allege excessive use of force

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Budget watchdog accuses Coalition of ‘fiscal gimmickry’ while warning of €6.6bn overspend

The Government’s repeated breaching of its own spending rule has resulted in €6.6 billion of additional expenditure since 2021, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) has warned. It also accused the Government of using “fiscal gimmickry” to flatter its budgetary numbers, noting that several items included in Budget 2024 were labelled as “noncore” or temporary spending when they were likely to persist. These included Covid-related health spending, supports for Ukrainian refugees and capital spending increases labelled as “windfall”.

In its latest fiscal assessment report the budgetary watchdog claimed the Government was adopting an “everything now” approach to budgeting by simultaneously announcing tax cuts, a ramp-up in capital spending and increases to current spending.

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