International tax reform
Sir, – Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is anxious to have it known that he has long been warning us about the threat to Ireland’s public finances posed by international tax reform. You quote him: “I’ve been saying this moment has been coming for years; it’s now happening and it will have consequences” (News, April 20th).
Mr Donohoe may indeed have been sounding the alarm – but he has repeatedly chosen to ignore it.
It is disconcerting to see a Minister for Finance drawn from the ranks of the party of fiscal rectitude make a mess of our hard-earned recovery from the financial crash. Every windfall to the exchequer, however transient, is blown on expenditures which will recur every year. Corporation tax is just the most recent example.We have learned nothing.
If the Government chooses to ignore its own Fiscal Advisory Council it is unlikely to pay much attention to Churchill: “In finance everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable.”
In a crowded field Pascal Donohoe is shaping up to be one of the least effective Ministers for Finance we have had to endure. He says all the right things about managing risk but he will be judged by his actions. Charlie McCreevy was rightly berated for flunking basic economics by volunteering, “When I have it, I’ll spend it.” Mr Donohoe does the same but likes to pretend otherwise. – Yours, etc,