Tuesday 6 December 2016

Taxpayers can't afford to subsidise rural way of life

If it is to prosper, Ireland must become a 'global city' says former Department of Finance Secretary General John Moran

Published 08/05/2016 | 02:30

'Ireland itself is going through a transformation, which is speeding up every year'
'Ireland itself is going through a transformation, which is speeding up every year'

We live in a rapidly changing world. In 1990 there were only 10 cities with a population of five times or more of Dublin's. Those cities housed 15 million people each on average. By no later than 2025, none of the world's top 15 megacities will be in Europe. Tokyo will have grown 5pc to 39 million, New Delhi 43pc to 33 million and Shanghai 40pc to 28 million.

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Ireland itself is going through a transformation, which is speeding up every year. Just under half of those employed in Ireland around the time of the 1916 Rising worked in agriculture compared to 5pc now. Even manufacturing which also was somewhat dispersed around the country had about 25pc working in 1916 compared to 9pc now. Are we sure we have adjusted our policy thinking to take account of these and other changes?

Future economic growth in an advanced economy depends on innovation, ideas and creativity. Global cities will be the turbo charged engines of this growth, and much of the rest of the world will either benefit from economic spill over from those areas or risk economic stagnation if they cannot.

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