Brendan Keenan: How I lost my faith in using GNP alone to base spending limits
GIMME that old-time religion, the gospellers used to sing, and I want to testify. It occurred to me last week that I had been losing the faith. The faith in GNP, that is.
It had been quite a theological debate during the boom years; as to whether GNP (gross national product) or GDP (gross domestic product) was the better way to assess the Irish economy.
The disputations centred on public spending. When GDP was counted, Irish public spending looked relatively low in many areas. It therefore followed, said many, that spending could, and should, rise faster than GDP to catch up with other countries.