The State's budgetary watchdog has given scathing assessment of Budget 2024, and says the Government is in danger of repeating the mistakes of the past.
The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) says the coalition used 'gimmickry' to downplay the effects its €12 billion package would have on inflation.
IFAC says an 'everything now' approach was taken, using strong tax receipts in good times to expand the budget quickly, risking price pressures and bad value for money.
It also accuses the Government of ignoring spending overruns in health, and failing to target cost-of-living supports to those who need them most.
Acting Chair of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, Professor Michael McMahon, says the Government's been rewriting its own rules.
"Even this year they redefined something as windfall capital spending and therefore took it out of their rule.
"This is like if you had a diet and you said, I'm not going to eat like sort of treats, but then you redefine what a treat is and you start saying, well, a biscuit isn't a real treat. So I'm allowed to have biscuits. It's just gaming the system."