COMING just days after very positive exchequer returns — the budget deficit was nearly wiped out and total tax revenues topped expectations by €3bn — yesterday’s CSO figures showing that the number of people signing on the Live Register declined by just 0.5% last month but was down 9.7% compared to the same month a year earlier makes it increasingly difficult for the Government’s opponents to criticise how our economy is managed.
These two fundamentals are going in the right direction and at a pace that could not have been anticipated. Indeed growth is so very robust that the old fears about cycles of boom-to-bust are likely to surface.
As the announcement of an election date approaches the Government will, naturally enough, focus on these considerable achievements but whether or not they are enough to ensure re-election remains an open question. Had they delivered on their reform agenda and had they been less facilitating to powerful, self-centred lobby groups their hopes of returning to power would be considerably stronger. They only have themselves to blame.
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