Next election may show Fine Gael has misjudged public mood again

Stephen Collins: Government puts self-interest over national interest on carbon tax

Cuts to USC, a €5 increase in welfare payments and housing and Brexit measures were among the annoucements made by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe in Budget 2019.

The most notable feature of the budget is that electoral considerations trumped the long-term national interest on climate change. The only explanation for the rejection of expert opinion on the subject is that the Government is readying itself for an election and is not willing to court the limited level of unpopularity that increased carbon taxes would entail.

The entire budget was designed to cause the minimum of offence with something for everybody and an avoidance of bold decisions that might alienate any major interest group apart from the green lobby.

The Irish Times
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