Wednesday 28 June 2017

Brendan O'Connor: Here's the news: we're banjaxed beyond belief

There never was any chance that austerity would fix us and now even the experts will admit it, writes Brendan O'Connor

HOW COULD THEY SAY NO? All we have to do is get French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, plus the 25 other
EU leaders, to agree to our debt restructuring plan drawn up by the Troika
HOW COULD THEY SAY NO? All we have to do is get French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, plus the 25 other EU leaders, to agree to our debt restructuring plan drawn up by the Troika

Isn't it gas all the same what passes for good news these days?

Never mind the fact that we got a gold star from the Troika last Thursday for being good little Europeans, the real good news, trumpeted by Brendan Howlin and on the front page of The Irish Times the next day, is that we might be allowed to use some of the money we get from selling off State assets for a jobs stimulus. Great, so we might be allowed to use some of our own money to do something for ourselves.

That being good news, which it apparently is, is predicated on you believing that the Government is good at creating jobs. And that it will wisely use the few billion we give it to manage to actually create jobs. I think we all know that won't work. The way the Government could create jobs in this country would be to have a functioning banking system that allowed guys to stay in business with the normal, old-fashioned cash-flow support that banks used to give -- like covering the wages for a few days until the weekend's takings went in, or by supplying exotic things like overdrafts.

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