Public finances and hard decisions

 

Sir, – We didn’t have to wait long for evidence that our three-party Government is up for the hard decisions and for joined-up thinking.

Leo Varadkar tells us what we already knew – hundreds of thousands of workers in the private sector lost their jobs while those in the public sector did not, even in cases where demand for their services has declined almost to zero. A report signed by Paschal Donohoe notes an anticipated deterioration of €25 billion in the public finances this year and that additional risks to the exchequer remain from the pandemic, from Brexit, from the well-flagged volatility of corporation tax receipts and because the rainy day fund has been wiped out.

All of this might suggest that a modicum of caution is in order. But Michael McGrath announced that pay increases will be made to public servants later this year. One of his esteemed predecessors worked on the philosophy that when I have it, I spend it. The new Minister for Public Expenditure is bringing that to a new level, I spend it even when I don’t have it.

Truly this is a great little country. – Yours, etc,

PAT O’BRIEN,

Rathmines,

Dublin 6.