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State of the Nation: The 'Stockholm Syndrome' Budget?

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

EACH WEEKDAY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world.

Everyone’s talking about… 

Yesterday afternoon’s Budget of course.

Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

There’s plenty of reaction to the measures announced by Noonan and Howlin around this morning.

Check our guide to the main points you need to know here. The main changes include cuts to USC and the higher rate of income tax, while on the business front the ‘Double Irish’ loophole is being abolished.

“Noonan sets the stage for more tax cuts in election run-up” is how The Irish Times calls it this morning, while the Irish Independent goes with “Give and Take”.

As you might imagine, the main opposition groups weren’t happy with the range of measures unveiled in the Dáil. Fianna Fáil pointed out that the “sweeteners”announced by the Government would be cancelled out by water charges for most people, while Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said it was a disaster for the “coping classes”.*

Ivan Yates, the radio presenter and former Fine Gael minister, perhaps summed it up best this morning on Newstalk Breakfast, calling it a “Stockholm Syndrome” Budget.

*That was before she got thrown out of the Dáil.

The agenda…

  • The ministers are out early this morning, with the likes of Joan Burton and Leo Varadkar taking to RTÉ and Newstalk to talk Budget detail. 
  • The Taoiseach takes Leader’s Questions in the Dáil at 10.30am.
  • Noonan and Howlin continue a long-standing tradition later as they drop in to Sean O’Rourke’s Radio 1 studio to take phone-in questions on the Budget.

What the others are saying…

  • On the Irish Times’ analysis pages, economics lecturer Alan Ahearne says that by aiming for a deficit of 2.7 per cent of GDP next year, the coalition hasn’t allowed itself much margin of error.  
  • In the Indo, Thomas Molloy takes a closer look at the decision to bring in a ‘Knowledge Box’ following the scrapping of the the ‘Double Irish’.
  • While the Sun reveals that a HSE official – human resources director Barry O’Brien – who was due to appear before the PAC, handed in his notice yesterday, as the Budget was being announced. 

In case you missed it…

On the Twitter machine…

There’s also the small matter of a football match to talk about this morning… 

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