Wednesday 21 February 2018

Still living beyond our means

Ireland passed its most recent troika review, the seventh since the November 2010 bailout, with flying colours. However, the troika also noted that what it terms "balance sheet repair", i.e. the repayment of debt by households and a weak labour market, were still hindering economic growth.

This was borne out by the latest figures from the CSO, which were coincidentally published yesterday, showing that the Irish economy actually shrunk in the first quarter of this year.

However, while the EU and the ECB can be rightly taken to task for their almost exclusive focus on debt repayment and deficit reduction, the fact remains that Ireland still has the highest budget deficit in the eurozone. We in this country still insist on a level of state provision that is totally beyond our diminished resources.

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