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O'Leary critical of quangos and calls crash a missed opportunity

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Michael O'Leary

Michael O'Leary

Michael O'Leary

Ireland has wasted chances for structural reform presented by the economic crisis, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said yesterday.

The airline boss (inset) lashed out at Irish Water and the HSE, calling them "complete messes".

"The more bureaucrats you add, the worse it'll get… we continue to run away from having that fundamental restructuring that would make us a much more efficient, low-cost economy."

He said the tax burden in this country was unfair.

"The people we're trying to hire [who are earning] between €50,000 and €100,000, which is where a lot of the talent will be, are paying far too much tax.

"Rates are still a huge problem for commercial businesses; we've been looking at building a hangar in Dublin Airport...[but] the hangar's gone off to Bergamo in Italy where we've created about 600 engineering jobs, and one of the key reasons why it's gone is that the rates are penal."

But Mr O'Leary said he was optimistic about Ireland's future.

He said international expansion of small Irish businesses would be the engine for growth here.

"We've got to be big in Europe, and then when you're big in Europe let's get big in the world."

Irish Independent