Thursday 22 March 2018

Brendan Kennan: Writing a cheque is easy -- recovery is the hard part

Brendan Kennan

THE Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, is a distinguished economist. So it is not surprising that he went to the nub of the question for the economy which arises from yesterday's banking announcements. "Is it affordable?"

Mr Honohan thinks it is, although he accepts that it is an enormous bill. Not, however, as enormous as some of the figures being thrown around in the political debates, such as that it would "cost" each taxpayer €22,000.

Labour's finance spokesperson, Joan Burton, was more circumspect. It would saddle each taxpayer with €22,000 of debt, she said. Which is correct. For taxpayers' own money, the cost and the size of the debt are the same thing, but for governments, it is different.

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