Santa isn’t com­ing to town

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - FRONT PAGE - EILIS O’HANLON

The spec­u­la­tion about what might or might not be in Paschal Dono­hoe’s stock­ing starts so early th­ese days that it’s al­most as if the Bud­get is like Christ­mas — but only if Santa came down the chim­ney once a year to leave presents, be­fore help­ing him­self to the rest of your stuff for the next 12 months to pay for it.

This year the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance has more than €3bn to play with. Un­for­tu­nately, most of it has al­ready been al­lo­cated to pub­lic sec­tor pay rises, be­cause... well, who knows? It prob­a­bly seemed a good idea at the time.

There are also sug­ges­tions that, when he gets to his feet in the Dail this week, Dono­hoe will un­veil a new “bed tax” tar­geted at tourists. Cead Mile Failte, in­deed. Maybe he’s just try­ing to put off Pres­i­dent Trump from drop­ping in any time soon. What­ever hap­pens on Tues­day, just be grate­ful the Bud­get will, for a few hours at least, stop us all talk­ing about that other dreaded B word — Brexit. En­joy the respite while it lasts.

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