Fiscal Advisory Council's report is a poor start

The Fiscal Advisory Council's basing as far-reaching a claim as ‘austerity is working’ on a mix-up of terms is a serious matter. By Michael Taft.

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council’s first report is out. It is a poor start. There is much to chew over but here I want to take up one contention – the one that says austerity is working. For if this argument is the best it can come up with, then it will have its work cut out to establish credibility.

Public investment is the key to growth

Public investment is essential if the Irish economy is to get back on its feet. By Michael Taft.

Colm McCarthy’s post on Irish Economy takes a sceptical look at ‘productive investment’, or more precisely, the Government’s claim that the New ERA proposals can create up to 100,000 jobs. This leads him to state that:

“The spectre of politicians seeking to create 100,000 jobs through extra public spending is every economist’s nightmare.”

Kill Anglo-Irish debt: Vol. 1

Rather than shovelling more money into Anglo-Irish/Irish Nationwide we could use it to boost growth, employment and living standards. By Michael Taft.

Over the next 20 years Anglo-Irish (including Irish Nationwide) will cost the Irish taxpayers €90 billion.

Just reflect on that for a moment.

Now repeat:  over the next 20 years Anglo-Irish will cost us €90 billion.

Party nation

Attacks on the social welfare system are really just veiled attacks on all of us. By Michael Taft.

Duelling with the stats on exports

It's time we owned up to the fact that Ireland is not an exporting nation. It is a platform for foreign exporting companies, and that platform is often only tangential to the domestic economy. By Michael Taft.

It is difficult enough to wade through the mountain of data to assess what is really happening in the Irish economy. It doesn’t help when we have ministers selectively celebrating selective stats. Take Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, for example - his PR machine is working overtime.

Wiping the slate clean on Anglo/INBS debt

We have the opportunity to strike a new deal on the Anglo/INBS debt. Below, Michael Taft, Michael Burke and Tom McDonnell outline a series of approaches which would provide the Government with an opportunity to expunge it.

Blood, stones, and you

Between wage stagnation, tax increases, and debt, the prospect of kicking growth into the economy via consumer demand is likely to disappoint. By Michael Taft.

Depleting the economy, and the alternative

Pursuing fiscal adjustments aimed at the ‘structural deficit’ can damage parts of the economy that would otherwise help us overcome structural problems. There is an alternative: investment (public investment which can ‘crowd-in’ additional private investment) - to increase output and productivity. By Michael Taft.

The more things change, the more things don't

Official and private forecasters are already revising growth projections downwards, even as they project continuing strong export growth. This is the inevitable effect of austerity on the domestic economy. By Michael Taft.