Wednesday 7 December 2016

New bankruptcy laws are to be welcomed

Published 29/07/2016 | 02:30

It is vital that we step away from the old Dickensian notion of bankruptcy and give those in financial distress an opportunity to move on as befits the needs of a 21st-century economy (Stock picture)
It is vital that we step away from the old Dickensian notion of bankruptcy and give those in financial distress an opportunity to move on as befits the needs of a 21st-century economy (Stock picture)

It has been argued that capitalism without bankruptcy would be like Christianity without hell. For too long Ireland has taken a strict puritanical, even penal, approach to those who fail in business. This has been utterly detrimental and counter-productive in fostering an entrepreneurial culture.

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Bankruptcy is necessary to guarantee that assets are fairly distributed among creditors - it is also supposed to protect the bankrupt from the creditors.

But in Ireland, until last year, the process was labyrinthine and those whose businesses had failed found it impossible to make a fresh start and wipe the slate clean.

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