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Thursday 18 September 2014

'Give families €1,000 each to kickstart economies'

Published 25/08/2014 | 02:30

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Households across Europe should be given no-strings-attached windfalls of at least €1,000 each in order to spur economic recovery across the eurozone, a leading Irish financier has urged
Households across Europe should be given no-strings-attached windfalls of at least €1,000 each in order to spur economic recovery across the eurozone, a leading Irish financier has urged

Households across Europe should be given no-strings-attached windfalls of at least €1,000 each in order to spur economic recovery across the eurozone, a leading Irish financier has urged.

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Dubliner Eric Lonergan, a London-based fund manager, says such a windfall would have an immediate impact on the faltering eurozone economy and drive growth across the region.

The radical plan is outlined in an article written for US magazine Foreign Affairs by Mr Lonergan and US economics professor Mark Blyth from Brown University.

The pair argue that the cash transfers to households in the eurozone would achieve far more than the European Central Bank has been able to in its efforts to kickstart growth.

Mr Lonergan said that €1,000 would just be the beginning, and that as much as €3,000 or €4,000 per capita could be returned in the eurozone.

"If some households would be better off repaying debt, that's absolutely fine," Mr Lonergan said, adding that inflation could still be kept under wraps despite the cash handouts.

"Other households will save some of the money and perhaps spend some of it.

"Others may use it to spend on education.

Mr Lonergan and Mr Blyth have also suggested that the cash windfalls could be awarded to just the poorest 80pc of households if the European Central Bank had any moral issues about handing out cash to the rich or well off.

The money would come from printing extra bank notes - 'quantitative easing', in financial jargon.

Irish Independent

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