Whitaker Institute member Dr Aidan Kane, of the Macroeconomics and Finance cluster, has written a new article for RTÉ Brainstorm. The piece looks at the history of Irish budgets.
A history of Irish budgets
“The Minister for Finance has the weight of the past, and not just expectations of the future, on his shoulders”
Opinion: our fiscal history tells us much about our past and the business of government over many centuries.
Budgets are mainly about the future: the minister announces taxing and spending plans for the year ahead, and beyond. But as Paschal Donohoe rises to deliver his speech in Dáil Éireann, he may well reflect that the weight of the past, and not just expectations of the future, lies heavily on his shoulders.
After all, he will come to the Dáil from a department acutely conscious of its central role, however contentious, in every major event in independent Ireland’s story. It is the department of Michael Collins, T.K. Whitaker and Brian Lenihan – and yes, the department of less impressive figures down the decades. Whatever their talents and their failings, ministers for finance have almost invariably been consequential players in political life, and any new minister stands somewhat in their shadows. Continue reading…