Prudent Paschal has finally loosened the purse strings.
The pandemic is over, long live the continued willingness to help us all in a new crisis.
A key factor in the budget was simply this: the silence of Sinn Féin MPs, as announced.
There was practically nothing to criticize, unless smokers stub out their cigarette in greater frustration at a 50°C rise. Or others nag about the CO2 tax.
Then there was a special “concrete measure” – a levy on the substance in response to pyrite and mica. It increases construction costs.
Aside from that, the speeches added up to a steady stream of dampening announcements.
Government MPs found themselves routinely muttering, “Hear, hear,” as if they were standard church responses.
And silence still reigned supreme on the benches at Sinn Féin, even as Housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin occasionally ran his fingers over a laptop keyboard.
Paschal’s aunts Maura and Breda watched from the grandstand along with his son and daughter in their school uniforms. It was his last budget speech as finance minister.
A few senators surrounded the railing of the House of Commons to preach the gospel of the good news. But it was strangely quiet in the auditorium.
The Dublin Central man first paid tribute to the hard work of the Irish people as we emerged from Covid.
Next, reference was made to the new crisis caused by the war waged by Vladimir Putin. Jennifer Whitmore of the Social Democrats deliberately wore the Ukrainian colors, with a blue jacket over a yellow top.
Thanks to the miracle of a huge windfall for a handful of big companies in the digital world, Paschal hasn’t had to announce an immediate windfall tax for energy companies, although one is being prepared if EU-wide regulations don’t suit the country.
But with all the billions poured into his lap by the world’s faceless Facebooks, Paschal could pretend to be Charlie McCreevy — the freewheeling Treasury Secretary of an earlier era whose mantra was, “If I’ve got it, I’ll give.” it off”.
And off he was, leaving Celtic Tiger Charlie at the Ha’Penny store while he injected cash into the inflationary fires.
Sinn Féin’s only groan came with an increase in the carbon tax, although this will be offset at the pumps. There’s not much to worry about there.
Then came Good Scheme Bess – the corporate energy boost that will help secure the future of SMEs and small businesses of all stripes.
And a zero sales tax for newspapers. Government TDs grinned up at the press box.
Zero VAT on defibrillators and for more hygiene products against period poverty.
Paschal even had money left over for the emergency fund. More billions wasted. He sat down to applause from the government and even some applause from independents.
The Shinners stayed silent.
Of course they would speak later. But when Paschal looked back at his family and finally had a sip of water, the opposition had yet another gospel to live through. Michael McGrath stood up.
1,000 new Gardaí – and so on and so forth. The good news seemed endless.
Charlie McCreevy’s political spirit was grinning away somewhere – although the real Kildare man was in a company corridor somewhere.
When we have it, we spend it.
https://www.independent.ie/business/budget/prudent-paschal-channels-his-inner-charlie-mccreevy-with-a-giveaway-budget-that-leaves-sinn-fein-in-stunned-silence-42021083.html The circumspect Paschal Donohoe channels his inner Charlie McCreevy with a wasted budget that leaves Sinn Féin in stunned silence