Consumer sentiment is an economic reckoner used by statisticians to determine how people feel about spending, and how they feel about spending pretty much sums up how they feel about the Government.
The “feel-good” factor as people celebrate a World Cup qualifier win cannot be underestimated. It’s just as well. The Budget was about as boring as the first half of the match.
It was all well flagged in advance, despite Leo’s warnings to cabinet colleagues about excessive kite-flying.
A tenner a head each week all round won’t change the world, but everyone will feel they got something.
The “losers” were the fat-cat landowners and vulture funds who are hoarding sites instead of developing them for much-needed housing.
The Government only has itself to blame for this as it didn’t put any conditions on the land it got Nama to flog and offered massive tax breaks instead, so few of us will feel sorry for them.
They’re trying to back-peddle on that now with sanctions imposed on those for not building, and new funding for those who are, along with higher stamp duty for commercial property transactions.
The haul is being divvied out among the rest of us, so we’re all “winners”, albeit mostly in such a small way that we won’t really feel it.
Pensioners and those on social welfare are winners for a start, with an extra fiver a week in benefits.
They’re getting more, relatively speaking, then workers on the new, higher minimum wage, which may be considered a barrier to work, but if they’re smokers, the 50c extra tax will be felt in their pockets.
Families with small children also win. Although child benefit was untouched, funding for longer pre-school education means lower bills for childcare.