Saturday 20 January 2018

Marc Coleman: Beware of the many troikas that conspire against recovery

Economic pillars such as tax, small business and credit flow need to be carefully balanced

Marc Colema

When Michael Noonan sits down in the Dail next Wednesday few will be satisfied and many will be angry. Except, that is, for the troika. Not that the troika doesn't care about Ireland's future, exactly.

But its key objective is to get Ireland's economy out of intensive care. Whether we can walk home or barely stagger is less important to it. So long as our general government deficit is 7.5 per cent of GDP next year, 5 per cent in 2014 and 3 per cent in 2015, the troika will be satisfied.

But is that good enough? And should the Government really give no thought to the microeconomic and political condition of the country post-bailout? The troika will eventually leave. But the electorate never goes away. And with unemployment at 14.8 per cent and long-term unemployment rising, demand weak and personal indebtedness and negative equity chronic, a budget that exacerbates these problems is unlikely to be forgotten.

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