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

Insiders generally look after insiders

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By Cormac Lucey One of modern life’s great pejorative put-downs is to describe somebody as a “conspiracy theorist”. To be honest, I am comfortable with the label. I am a suspicious person and I do believe that powerful interests very often suppress information about what they’re at and to gain information about what everyone else is up to. Indeed, a … Read More

Budget 2018 : ISME calls for implementation of Tax Institute findings

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ISME, the Irish SME Association today (May 31st) submitted its Pre-Budget Submission to Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister of Finance. The document outlines the Associations key priorities for Budget 2019. Ireland’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.1% in 2019, the third highest in Europe, behind Malta and Slovakia. This is tightening the labour market, pressurising wages, and rapidly increasing the … Read More

Global forecasts are clear on one thing — an inflationary storm will drench us all

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By Cormac Lucey The Standard and Poor’s 500 index of American stocks continues to hit all-time highs. The index of Irish shares — the ISEQ — is at post-crash highs, hitting the level first reached in 2006 towards the very end of the boom era. Unemployment in Ireland has fallen to 6%, not far off the multi-decade low of 4% … Read More

Time to fight monopolies properly and stop public sector bringing up the Reer

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By Cormac Lucey According to Eurostat, Ireland is now the second most expensive country in Europe for consumer goods and services. Across a broad cross-section of products, prices here are 125% of the EU average, with only Denmark more expensive. When it comes to alcohol and tobacco products, we are way out in front, with prices 175% of the EU … Read More

The Government did a good job on AIB’s share sale

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By Cormac Lucey There was plenty of huffing and puffing over the fact that AIB’s share price traded above the government’s sale price last week. Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said: “These shares went on sale at €4.20, which is the midpoint in the range. Within hours they were selling at much higher price, trading at €250m more than … 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

How to abandon the common currency

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By Cormac Lucey Economic tensions are growing once more in the eurozone. That is evidenced by rising Target 2 balances which measure how much central banks in the eurozone’s northern countries are having to lend to their counterparts in southern countries to allow them keep their commercial banking systems functioning. It is also evidenced by the interest rate you can … Read More

How the Light Really Gets In: The Liberal and Bourgeois Deal – Deirdre McCloskey

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Last month, on 12 May, the peerless author and classical liberal commentator  – and proud Irish American ! – Deirdre Nansen McCloskey spoke at the Free Market Road Show in Dublin. Her contributions were, as ever, an expert debunking of the myths and fallacies about ‘income inequality’ and State-sponsored wealth distribution. In the same spirit, she gave the following address … Read More