We need a new Ray MacSharry, with steel, to enact reforms Ireland needs

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By Cormac Lucey Last week Danny McCoy, chief executive of the employer’s group Ibec, warned that excessive wage inflation could undo Ireland’s hard-won economic recovery. “Right now, we’re burning through our competitiveness in a way that’s more severe than during the Celtic tiger,” he asserted, pointing to evidence on his very doorstep. Rents on Baggot Street in Dublin 2 (where … Read More

Ireland puts all its chips on multinationals, but the EU house wants its cut

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By Cormac Lucey The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic think tank headquartered in Paris. The organisation published a detailed report on the Irish economy recently. Its conclusions regarding our recent performance were understandably positive, but it warned that the country’s economic prospects “are clouded in uncertainty”. The good news is that the robust economic … Read More

Forget Brexit shockwaves, we should be braced for Corbyn’s entrance, stage left

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By Cormac Lucey There are many economic risks currently facing Ireland. In terms of media airtime, Brexit would seem to be the biggest. Yet, as Irish Fiscal Advisory Council chairman Seamus Coffey warned last September, the EU’s plans for corporation tax harmonisation “pose a bigger threat”. Then there are the dangers posed by the game of chicken that the US … Read More

Plain packaging: Five Years of Failure! An open letter to WHO Director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus

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“Five Years of Failure!” That’s the message a global coalition of 62 think tanks and rights advocates are sending to the new WHO Director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus in reference to the plain packaging policy the organization continues to promote.   Five years ago, Australia became the first country to fully implement plain packaging by denying all trademark usage rights for tobacco … Read More

EU plans to harmonise corporation tax will bring little in the way of harmony

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By Colm McCarthy Ireland’s agenda with the European Union is getting complicated. After five years of strong recovery, the country’s economic prospects are exposed to developments in EU policy under three headings. There will be profound effects from Brexit about efforts to harmonise corporation tax and about future governance of the eurozone. And the next slowdown, whenever it comes, will … Read More

Responsible majority shouldn’t have to pay for irresponsible minority

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  By Brendan Burgess The majority of mortgage holders act responsibly and pay their mortgages. A few are still in arrears, but they are doing their best to pay their mortgage. These responsible borrowers are paying the highest mortgage rates in the eurozone, because they are paying not just their own mortgage, but they are also paying the mortgages of … Read More

Europe’s default leader has little to show for it

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By Cormac Lucey Henry Kissinger, the US secretary of state and national security in the 1970s, once exclaimed in frustration: “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” At the time there was no clear European leader to speak to. If the US wanted to arrange something it would have to separately fix it with the British, the … Read More

And now, a message to our sponsors — please take the politics out of our policies

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By Cormac Lucey The row about the role of the government strategic communications unit (SCU) in promoting the national development plan rumbles on. Public money was used to insert advertisements in various newspapers that looked like regular editorial copy. The opinions of several public commentators were sought and used without them knowing where they would appear and, mysteriously, some local … Read More