Gene Kerrigan: Suffering for leaders who can't add up
Further pain is to be inflicted on the basis of economic statistics that are plain wrong, writes Gene Kerrigan
IT was a wee bit upsetting when the Department of Finance lost track of €3.6bn. But were you upset -- or did you even know -- that a government advisory body of top-notch economists totted up the nation's figures and got a deficit reduction of 4.3 per cent when the actual figure was 1.8 per cent? And would it increase your confidence in our leaders if you found out that government ministers seem to be exaggerating some figures by 2,307 per cent?
Such trivial matters preoccupied me so much over the past few days that I forgot to become elated by the Government's plan to cut tens of thousands of public service jobs. These plans have caused sections of the media to become rigid with excitement at the thought of the public service bloodied and bowed.
And I can see the Government's point. They've become mesmerised by "the deficit", transfixed by the demands of Frau Merkel and little Nicky Sarko. If your whole point in life is to pay bondholders and to get "the deficit" down to precisely the level dictated by your boss in Berlin, well, nothing else matters.