Mr Cowen yesterday stated that the increase in Government spending for 2008 will be half the 13 per cent planned for this year. The Government is facing a deficit of €1.5 billion.
Hard decisions on public expenditure are imminent. Expect a raft of stealth tax increases.
After the 2002 General Election the same scenario unfolded.
Richard Bruton FG spokesman on Finance has been a consistent critic of excessive public expenditure rises. He was ignored. A 13% increase in public expenditure was unsustainable. Nevertheless it served its purpose. It smoothed the path to election victory for FF.
With the housing market cooling and stock markets in turmoil uncertain times lie ahead for the economy. The 4.5% growth rate forecast last December is more likely to be 3%.
Not to worry. By 2010 the Government coffers will be sufficiently replenished to allow for another two year public expenditure splurge in the run up to the 2012 General Election. Ah sure the electorate has short memories.