"The country is broke"

Everybody knows that Ireland is broke. So many important people have told us this so many times that it simply must be true. The story is so familiar at this stage that it almost writes itself. The good times are over and we will have to stop living beyond our means. Even the risk takers and thrill seekers who made the desert bloom in the first place are on their uppers. We will all have to tighten our belts. But at least we're all in this together...By Colin Coulter


There is no alternative

There is no alternative

Raising corporation tax is out of the question; defaulting on debt is unthinkable; we cannot burn the bondholders; the deficit must be reduced to 3% of GDP by 2014. These are the incontrovertible "truths" postulated by the majority of our politicians.


The IMF-ECB 'bailout' is the best deal

The IMF are not hear to rescue us from our inept politicians. When the IMF pumps money into a struggling economy, they're not trying to help its people cope with hard times. Their goal is to protect foreign banks who would take a hit if Ireland defaulted on its loans. This has been the pattern ever since the first big bailout organised by the IMF when Mexico was about to default in the 1980s.

The country is broke

The country is broke

The country is not broke. The Irish State is fully funded up until mid-2011; it is the banks that are running out of money and precipitated the arrival of the IMF/EU. Ireland is still a wealthy country. In 2007 the richest 1% of the population owned 34% of the wealth. In October 2010 the economist Tom O'Connor estimated that the total net worth of 33,000 Irish millionaires was €121 billion. In 2009 Google Ireland Limited increased pre-tax profits to €47.5 million, from €10 million in 2008.

We're all in this together

"We're all in this together"

The idea that we all have to share both the blame and the pain in the current economic crisis is one of the most fallacious assertions trotted out repeatedly by both politicians and journalists. Brian Lenihan said recently: "Let's be fair... we all partied". No, we didn't. It is clear that 'we' is the most abused pronoun in Irish political language.

“The IMF bailout will save us”

Brian Lenihan and those members of the government that now defend the bank bailout are insisting that the funds from the IMF are like an overdraft. They will only be drawn upon should they be needed. These funds have been described by him as the“firepower that stands behind the banking system”, to protect us against the worst effects of the markets.


"Now is not the time for the equality agenda”

The European Commission has told Europe’s governments to see gender equality policies as a long term investment not a short term cost. Seeing equality as a luxury, which can wait, and not as an essential component of recovery has profound consequences. But a more equal society is a fairer society, one in which people can have decent housing, good working conditions and participate with others in the cultural and social life of Ireland.