This economic debate is getting beyond the beyond. RTE reported:
‘Speaking at the Bloomberg economic summit in Dublin Mr Noonan said the Irish economy is in a much better position than it was this time last year.’
It now seems that in this debate you can say anything you want without any reference whatsoever to fact, truth, reality, veracity, accuracy. Just make it up, if it feels good run with it, say anything to fill some column inches and get on the Six-One News. The Irish economy is in a much better position than it was this time last year? Why not? Don’t let the following deter you. It’s only been taken from the Government projections last April and the Government projections this April.
Wow. Last April the Government was projecting higher growth rates, higher GDP, higher job creation, lower unemployment, higher real wage growth and lower public debt.
But according to the Minister, we are in a better position this year.
I mean, there’s gloss, and then there’s gloss; and then there’s downright making-it-up. Of course, we’ve come to expect this from this Government (after all, they refuse to acknowledge that we are back in recession).
However, where is our vaunted corps of economic journalists and commentators who stand ready to challenge Ministers when they come out with this type of manipulation? Where are the defenders of the public right to know the facts, those who should be holding the Government to account? Somewhere, I suppose – but not here and not now.
But we are getting used to the Finance Minister’s odd take on all things economic. He did, after all, assure us that VAT wouldn’t hit ‘the poor’ because they don’t have much money to spend. Now, courtesy of Dublin Opinion and Paddy Joe, we find a deeper insight into the Minister’s worldview:
‘He [the Minister] also told a Dublin event that no other European country but Ireland would be able to pass a referendum on the fiscal treaty. “In all other countries people are concerned about growing inequality. In Ireland we need to keep focus on more important issues of corporate profitability and tax protection we offer international organisations. This is not the time for drastic moves to the left simply to suit populist demands for simplistic idealism of “social justice”.’
There you have it. Give up your simplistic notions of ‘social justice’. Get real. And don’t mind what we said last year. Things are better. And when we revise everything down again next year, it will be better still.