Sunday 17 December 2017

Government has sustained waste at the cost of essential services

Confidence in our leadership is the key to success, but the Government has yet to inspire it, says James Fitzsimons

James Fitzsimons

THE Government has done its best to find a way out of the economic crisis of 2008. Clearly its best is not enough. Olli Rehn endorsed the Government's four-year plan, which includes budget cuts of €6bn next year. Mr Rehn is the Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner and the European Union's top economics official.

He can choose to cut off our EU subsidies and impose substantial fines if we fail to reduce our national debt. He is like a banker and we need to listen to him. Sustainable borrowing, at affordable interest rates, must be part of the solution, but the EU has let us down at this time of crisis.

Angela Merkel's recent announcement that international bondholders must expect to share a greater part of the burden in the case of sovereign debt default has directly affected our future cost of borrowing. The PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) are getting all the flak on bond markets, but behind the scenes the larger EU countries are trying to hide their own problems. There are fears for the future of the euro.

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