20 December, 2010

European Central Bank 'concerned' over Irish bail-out

Ireland, Ireland Ireland.... what hath thee wrought?

The current government is headed by Brian Cowen who was Minister of Finance for much
of the period leading up to the current crisis when the seeds of destruction were sown –
lax financial regulation, pro-cyclical budgetary policy, unsustainable wage settlements for
public servants, an over-reliance on taxes related to rising house prices, loads of tax breaks for property based investment and so on. Although the Prime Minister says he accepts his share of responsibility for what happened this somehow has no consequences, despite the high level of unemployment (13.5%), repossessions, negative equity, a budget deficit of 32% of GDP for 2009, ghost estates that litter the countryside inspired by tax breaks and lax planning whereby one county zoned for planning land sufficient to house 10 times its population.

Despite the rather bleak outlook for the economy we are not too despondent. Ireland was
ranked very highly in a recent UN Human Development Index, in which Canada always
scores highly.

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