Budget 2018 will prove an important test for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and will be his first chance to show what the government has in store to further his vision for a ‘republic of opportunity’.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the big day.
His name is on it:
Sixteen weeks after he was elected Taoiseach, his Government’s first Budget is a huge test. Unlike many predecessors going back two decades – Enda Kenny, Brian Cowen, and Bertie Ahern – his name is already on this one. The former Taoisigh took a back seat before Budget day. Leo Varadkar has been very strident.
It is a case of share the limelight, share the blame:
He is hand-in-glove with his Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, on this one. But unlike the solo Budget act of his predecessor, veteran Michael Noonan, Paschal Donohoe must share the spotlight. If it goes wrong they will both share the blame.
There has been many slogans:
Leo Varadkar wants to help “people who get up early in the morning” and who “pay for everything.” But these are slogans from his internal Fine Gael leadership campaign. He must show these are more than political guff. But, by signalling some tax cuts will happen in this Budget, he has set the bar very high for himself.
He lacks money and Dáil numbers:
The Government lacks money because under EU rules it must deliver its first break-even Budget in 10 years. Of a total €58bn spend, he needs to stretch beyond the €350m spare cash for tax cuts and service improvements. Also, leading a minority coalition he has to keep a lot of demanding people on board.
And there’s the little matter of Fianna Fáil:
Unless he gets the nod of opposition leader, Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar will have no Budget – and we’ll have an election. At minimum Fianna Fáil must abstain to allow Budget 2018 go through. That means Martin & Co must be allowed show their Budget wins. It’s a tricky balancing act.
Article Source: http://tinyurl.com/kbwqb42
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