From budgets to borders, we must break free from knee-jerk decision-making

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By Cormac Lucey There was broad dissatisfaction expressed in the country’s opinion pages about the 2019 budget. Very few of those commenting have personal experience of operating inside Ireland’s political system and its constraints. The primary limitation is that every government wants to be re-elected. Decisions are therefore almost inevitably oriented towards sustaining ministers’ political popularity, and this can produce … Read More

Compared to the crash of 2008, the next crisis will actually be even worse

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By Cormac Lucey It is 10 years since the Irish government’s fateful decision to guarantee the liabilities of the Irish banks. That rubber-stamped the country’s plunge into financial disaster, following the collapse two weeks earlier of Lehman Brothers, which kickstarted the international financial crisis. As with all meltdowns, there had been plenty of warnings. The share price of Bank of … Read More

Fianna fail needs to offer more substance – and work with the Govt to address health and housing

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By Eamon Delaney Fianna Fail got a small opinion poll rise recently, but sometimes you have to wonder about our second biggest party, and its focus and direction, not to mention internal discipline. Recently, for example, three of its TDs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) called for more disclosure of the President’s spending. But their party leader, Micheal Martin, … Read More

Austerity does lead to prosperity but the left just doesn’t get it

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By Eamon Delaney I’m an old school media consumer and I have boxes of old cuttings which I go through occasionally to de-clutter. It is fascinating. You can see the how the big issues reoccur and develop, both in Irish and international affairs. It is especially instructive to see the ongoing coverage of our economic crisis from the bust of … Read More

Is your money still safe as houses or are property prices about to crumble?

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By Cormac Lucey Conflicting signals seem to be emerging from the residential property market. Last month The Economist reported that Dublin house prices were 25% overvalued compared with incomes. In August, a survey carried out by the Central Bank and the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland reported that most industry experts now expect residential property prices to rise by … Read More

Ireland has a huge welfare dependency- and the squeezed middle has to pay for it

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By Eamon Delaney This week we saw a damning assessment by the Government itself on our massive welfare dependency in Ireland. According to the Department of Finance paper, we’ve become a welfare nation ‘overly dependent’ on state payments compared to other countries: almost every person in Ireland benefits, directly or indirectly, from some form of social welfare payment which amounts … Read More

Fine Gael are doing exactly what they accused Charlie McCreevy of doing

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By Cormac Lucey The latest IMF report on the Irish economy passed by with little remark. That reflects an economy back on its own two feet and no longer dependent on external support. Nonetheless, the Washington DC-based organisation argues that the key policy challenge is to harness Ireland’s strong economic momentum to avoid a new boom-bust cycle, and to bolster … Read More

Threat of a global debt landslide could still bury us all

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By Cormac Lucey Irish house prices rose by more than 12% last year. According to the stockbrokers Davy, this rate of increase isn’t sustainable — as sharp property price increases aren’t being matched by comparable jumps in incomes. In Dublin, prices have regained about two-thirds of the drop they suffered between 2008 and 2013. Rents, meanwhile, have surpassed boom-time levels. … Read More