Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ditch the rough-and-ready policies to bring some relief

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

A rare evening visit to Dublin last weekend confirmed the difficulty of explaining to a visiting Martian, never mind a visiting Greek, that this is the capital of a country coming through the worst crash and banking collapse ever recorded in an advanced economy.

The city centre was choc-a-bloc. Every emporium for the serving of food and drink seemed full. There may even be signs of a pick-up, but there have never really been scenes of desolation. Some recent figures help show why, and may also shed some light on the coalition's political difficulties.

Research from accountants Grant Thornton found that a two-income family earning €80,000 a year, with two children and a €200,000 mortgage, is 7.5pc worse off than in 2008. The figure chimes in with the updated analysis of income distribution from the ESRI, which finds an average loss of 8pc in real income since the crash.

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