In the wake of October’s budget, the Fiscal Advisory Council issued a rather damning verdict on the Government’s conduct of policy. Basically, the council, headed by the economist Seamus Coffey from University College Cork, feel the Government has eased up rather too quickly, with tax reductions accompanied by some substantial increases in public spending, especially on the health service.

Tax revenue has come in ahead of expectations, but the council is not impressed. Much of the unexpected bonus in tax receipts during 2018 came in the form of corporation tax and there are good reasons for fearing that it could be transient.