Monday 26 February 2018

Troika truths

• Last week, Istvan Szekely, troika mission chief and director for Ireland in the European Commission, spoke to the IBEC HR leadership summit. Some aspects of your reporting of his remarks may have given readers an erroneous interpretation of what he said.

Dr Szekely went out of his way to emphasise what the troika has said consistently in Ireland: that the adjustment in the country's public finances must be done in a socially equitable way and that, wherever possible, the burden of adjustment on the most vulnerable should be minimised. This consistent position can easily be confirmed by looking through the various programme documents, which are publically available.

Dr Szekely also pointed to evidence which shows that, compared to other countries undertaking large fiscal adjustments, the measures in Ireland have tended to fall more on higher-income households. In other words, the adjustment up to now has been rather progressive. He stated very clearly that it is imperative that this continue to be the case.

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