Focus on most in need

THE latest figures from the Department of Finance show that tax returns for the year are 5.8% ahead of target, with €31.6bn collected up to the end of September, representing a year-on-year increase of €2.74bn. This is a reassuring €1.74bn ahead of target.

This is entirely positive news but like any unexpected windfall it brings its own challenges. We are on the cusp of an election and there is, right across society, an appetite for something like pay restoration either through tax cuts or any other mechanism that might suit finance Minister Michael Noonan. Many of us feel we have done our penance and that it is time for some cake — indeed, promoting that idea is the very foundation stone of the policies those who hope to replace the Coalition will advance. It might be prudent though to reflect on our recent past and recall how living beyond our means had such dreadful consequences. It is appropriate too to remember that so many services the most vulnerable in society depend on are not up to standard. Maybe it’s time to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

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