We need to dismantle our culture of dependency
In Ireland 77pc of working households are funding the other 23pc - that's twice the average of other EU countries
The Irish economy is growing rapidly. There will be real growth of around 5pc this year. Food, pharmaceutical and IT exports are booming. We are getting massive corporation tax payments from US multinationals. Our demographics are very favourable - we have relatively fewer dependant older people than other EU countries have. Unemployment has fallen to a little below the average EU levels. The Government can borrow money at 0.4pc.
So why are you struggling so hard? Why do you feel so insecure about your future and the future of your children?
You put the head down at college and got a good degree. You did some years of poorly paid training afterwards. You made the financial sacrifices, you worked hard at your career and now you have a decent salary. You should be comfortably off, but you are not. You are paying relatively high income tax, PRSI and USC, not to mention Local Property Tax and water charges. If you have a non-tracker mortgage, you are paying interest rates which are twice what they are in the rest of the Eurozone. You have always paid for your own health insurance, but it has become increasingly expensive, while at the same time, the tax relief has been greatly reduced. You have never had a motor insurance claim, but this year your premium is 35pc higher than last year. You thought you had a good pension, but it turns out that there is a big hole in the pension fund.