We need to be realistic about our housing crisis, and its different causes

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By Eamon Delaney The Government’s director for homelessness in Dublin, Eileen Gleeson, (above) has created major waves with her straight-talking comments on our ongoing housing crisis. Coming on top of the continuing insistence of the Government that Ireland’s housing crisis is ‘not much worse’ than that of many other countries, it suggests that the Taoiseach’s much-vaunted spin machine may need … Read More

A budget based on artificially high taxes and interest rates – again

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Comment on the Budget from Brendan Burgess, founder of Askaboutmoney.com During the Celtic Tiger years, we based our budgets on artificially inflated property and other tax receipts. We are making the same mistake now – basing our budgets on artificially high taxes and artificially low interest rates. The difference now is that we have €200 billion of borrowing which we … Read More

Job rate is impressive but the taking part is what counts

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By Cormac Lucey One of the clearest signs of Ireland’s economic recovery since the dark days of 2011 and 2012 has been the sharp drop in the unemployment rate. Having peaked above 15%, it fell to 6.1% in September. The national unemployment rate has shifted more than four-fifths of the way back to the bubble-era low levels of a decade … Read More

Let’s look at the number of people who “don’t want work”

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By Cormac Lucey The Central Bank of Ireland may be best known for its management of monetary policy, yet it is also a significant centre of Irish economic research and — beneath the arcane academic language and uninteresting titles — these papers can contain some very interesting information and analysis. Consider a recent paper titled A Non-Employment Index for Ireland, … Read More

Send for Michael O’Leary — our economy still measured on a wing and a prayer

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By Cormac Lucey What is Ryanair’s annual output or revenue? You can find the answers very quickly by looking at the company’s annual report. For most companies, total annual output is a simple matter to determine. Measuring Ireland’s annual output is a more complicated question. This is because the presence of so much multinationals generates activities that occur here but … Read More

When it comes to tax, Sinn Fein is the worst option of all

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By Cormac Lucey When I fill out my vote at elections, I follow an unusual procedure. Having filled in my initial preferences, I count the number of candidates and then identify my least favourite and work backwards towards those contenders in the middle where I am less sure. In every Irish election that I have voted in, I have ranked … Read More

Hibernia Forum talk on the future of pensions

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The Hibernia Forum is hosting a series of evening discussions over the next few months addressing some of the major issues facing Ireland. The format will involve two or three speakers on specific topics but ones connected to the wider economy and society. The first such evening will be held in Buswells Hotel, Kildare Street, Dublin on Thursday 29th June, … Read More

Varadkar played politics when he could have been reforming welfare and supporting work

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By Cormac Lucey Leo Varadkar’s rhetoric is most pleasing. He wants Fine Gael to be a party for people who get up early in the morning. As his policy ideas paper expanded further: “Fine Gael is the party for people who are ambitious for Ireland, for their family and community and for themselves personally.” These calls led to a predictable … Read More

Dole payments should be cut, not increased

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By Brendan Burgess Last week the dole was increased by €5. Cue the usual howls of protests from the poverty lobby deploring the paltriness of this increase. But let’s look at a few facts. The dole in the Republic of Ireland is €193 per week for a single person. The dole in Northern Ireland is the equivalent of €90. That … Read More