There's no going back so we need a vision for the Republic
IT has been a tough six years since the scale and severity of Ireland's rapid economic crash started to unfold before all our eyes. Judged from where we are today, and indeed in the context of recessions elsewhere, the basic economic statistics are stark.
A series of nine fiscal adjustments rolled through measures totalling almost €30bn, equivalent to 15pc of GDP. Between 2008 and 2013 gross household incomes fell by an average of 10pc, while after-tax incomes - a better measure of living standards - fell by 16pc.
Full-time employment declined by more than 330,000, although part-time work increased by 55,000. Unemployment skyrocketed, emigration returned, a housing bubble spectacularly burst, public services were diminished, pay cuts were the norm and taxes of all types (bar corporation tax) increased.