Thursday 23 November 2017

Clinging to the cliff by the tips of our fingers

Ireland's record drop in wealth means we're closer to Greece than we'd like to think, writes Daniel McConnell

BACK in January 2008, the country and the media were obsessed with former Taoiseach's Bertie Ahern's increasing financial troubles at the Mahon Tribunal. Wayne O'Donoghue was released from prison, Irish teenager Amy Fitzpatrick went missing in Spain and Manchester United and Arsenal were level at the top of the Premier League.

I mention January 2008 because it was the last time the Irish Exchequer posted a monthly surplus. The last annual surplus was 2006 when, as a result of buoyant property taxes, the State took in €2.2bn more than it spent.

Since then, we have seen 25 successive monthly deficits, 25 declines, 25 consecutive slides into recession.

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