Monday 18 December 2017

Financial downturn has hit poor households hard - Central Bank Governor

Patrick Honohan
Patrick Honohan
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE financial crisis in Ireland has seen a substantial increase in the proportion of poor households suffering deprivation, Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has said.

But he stated the specific measures urged by the Troika on the Irish state were sensible or inevitable, with ''few really bad ideas''.

Addressing an economics conference in Dublin, Mr Honohan said the bailout programme did what it had set out to do - it provided a ''safe harbour'' into which Ireland was able to retreat to deal with the financial crisis it faced.

He broadly backed the measures imposed on Ireland by its international lenders.

''My overall impression is that most of the specific measures urged on the Government by Troika staff as the programme unfolded were sensible or inevitable; few were really bad ideas,'' he said.

The day-long Future Directions for the Irish Economy conference, organised by the European Commission, includes several high profile speakers, including Mr Honohan, Central Bank chief economist Lars Frisell, Department of Finance Secretary General John Moran, Fiscal Advisory Council head John McHale, and IMF Ireland mission chief Craig Beaumont.

''The crisis will have a lasting unfavourable legacy,''Mr Honohan said.

''The accumulation of debt, public and private, will continue to weigh on growth prospects in a variety of ways.

''And many households are being affected by long term unemployment.''

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