Channel hope into spending
Madam --Taxi drivers are among the most informed groups in society. They tune in to daily radio talk shows and transport people from all walks of life. But one does not have to ride in the back of a taxi to learn about the depressed state of our domestic economy.
The sight of queues of empty taxis each day in Dublin would remind a visitor of a city in the Third World. Reduced incomes have a knock-on effect on drivers' own spending habits. The older age group of drivers -- the vast majority being over 40 -- iillustrates the difficulty that older workers face in obtaining employment. The taxi industry is just one of the many service industries adversely affected by the fall in spending in the domestic economy.
Figures from the CSO reveal that savings levels are rising, with Irish households saving €637m more in 2011 compared to the previous year. While the current austerity, along with a bombardment of savings adverts from financial institutions, has convinced many to rein in spending, there remains widespread hope and optimism about the future. Ireland continues to have the highest birth rate in Western Europe. The challenge is how to channel this upbeat mood into spending in the economy.