The political requirement to secure the survival of a minority government was a higher priority in Budget 2017 than addressing the real needs of the e(...)

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe leaving RTÉ after the Today with Sean O’Rourke programme yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Fianna Fáil was informed in the middle of last week that there would be additional resources in the budget above what Ministers had repeatedly pledged(...)

Budget 2017: Minister for Finance Michael Noonan arrives at Government Buildings ahead of the announcement. Photograph: Getty Images

Significantly higher than expected spending increases have been unveiled by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure a(...)

There will be new schemes for childcare, first-time buyers, entrepreneurs, housing, businesses hit by Brexit and a host of smaller targets in Budget 2017.  Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

What do you do when you have hardly any spare cash to play with in the budget? You fill it with “schemes” to make it look like you are doing something(...)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe: Insists  the fiscal space available for the budget will be divided on a 2:1 ratio between public spending increases and tax cuts. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

So far, the reformed budget process is looking an awful lot like the unreformed budget process. Each of the twin architects of the budget – Minister (...)

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe:  He insisted that the fiscal space available for the Budget will remain at around €1 billion, to be divided on a 2:1 ratio between public spending increases and tax cuts. Photograph: Alan Betson

There will be no increase in the €1 billion of fiscal space before the Budget, and Government departments will not be bailed out at the end of the ye(...)

Prof John McHale, chairman of the  Fiscal Advisory Council, the State’s budget watchdog, has warned the Government against using any mechanisms for increasing public spending beyond what is already committed to in the budget plans. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.

The Fiscal Advisory Council, the State’s budget watchdog, has warned the Government against using any mechanisms for increasing public spending beyond(...)

Donal Donovan: A lack of independent regulation by the Central Bank and Financial Regulator in the past was one of the roots of the crisis. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The independence of the Central Bank must be protected and the recent proposed legislation on mortgage rate caps threatens to undermine this, accordin(...)

Noel Whelan: The day the election was called was pregnant with damaging scenes and sounds for the Government campaign. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Last December they wanted us to believe it was about the economy, stupid, and that keeping the recovery going required keeping them in government. So (...)

Renua Leader Lucinda Creighton has warned the electorate of voting for parties who think money grows on trees. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton has warned the electorate against “voting for parties that believe money grows on trees” as business leaders ex(...)

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