Monday 11 December 2017

We must heed wake-up call and focus on the economy

Austerity is being applied in the wrong way – we now have tax-sterity, writes Marc Coleman

FILE PICS: Dr Alan Ahearne Photo: Leon Farrell Photocall Ireland.
FILE PICS: Dr Alan Ahearne Photo: Leon Farrell Photocall Ireland.

CSO data last Thursday confirmed that GDP has fallen for the last nine months, and so we are now – technically at least – back in recession.

Ireland retains a phenomenal potential for recovery: our competitiveness has improved drastically in the last number of years. And even if its extent is exaggerated by statistical factors, the turnaround in our balance of payments is impressive. Likewise the stabilisation of confidence and the beginnings of a recovery in employment growth. Likewise falling premia on government bond yields and the sterling performance of our exporters.

But recovery is a full-time effort. It needs 100 per cent of the Government's attention. But the Government's attention during the last nine months has been everywhere but on the economy. The recovery has been dying of neglect.

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