It Wasn’t Me

As finance minister, Mr Cowen was responsible for a startling 13 per cent rise in government spending last year, which turned a budget surplus of 2.9 per cent of gross domestic product in 2006 into a forecast deficit of 1.2 per cent this year.

“It was an election year, but if you increase spending that much, you will make some mistakes,” says Alan Barrett, senior economist at Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute.

“I do not think anyone would say from the state of public services that it was worth it.”

Cowen is now confirmed as Irish prime minister, here is one story.


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