Monthly Archives For July 2013

There is No Need for Spending Cuts in Budget 2014. Full Stop.

, , Comment Closed

First, the good news:  there is no need for spending cuts in Budget 2014.  This should come as a relief to people on social protection, users of public services, people reliant on public investment for work and public sector workers.   This should also come as a relief to everyone in the economy.  As Friends First states:

‘The greatest stimulus that Government could now give the Irish economy would be to indicate an easing of the fiscal austerity. This would have a massive impact on consumer and business confidence.’

Too true.   Why are spending cuts unnecessary?  First, let’s recall the Minister for Finance’s comment on The Week in Politics:

‘There are options emerging.  We have to make targets in the programme.  The ultimate target is to get the deficit below 3% in 2015.’

So the ultimate target is 3 percent by 2015.  What would happen to the deficit if there were no spending cuts?  We can use three different models to make what can only be approximate estimates – from the ESRI, the Nevin Economic Research Institute and the Department of Finance.  They all show similar results (notes on these appear at the end of this post).

Read Post →


, , Comment Closed



 JULY 4TH 7.30PM

We’re delighted to announce this talk with urban researchers Stephen Rigney and Eoin O’Mahony, dealing with issues of vacancy, property speculation and examining the possibilities of thinking the city from below.

Loom Studios, July 4th 7.30pm (BYOB)

Counter-Cartographies of the city

In the aftermath of the Celtic tiger, the contradictions of debt-fuelled property speculation as a means of economic growth are materialised in the abundance of empty buildings and vacant lots in Dublin’s north inner city. Ironically, this part of the city has a shortage of community spaces and faces an emerging housing crisis, at a time when so many spaces lie idle and closed off from use by virtue of their designation as private property. This begs the question, whose city is this?

Read Post →

Video: Protest at anti-abortion Youth Defence, Dublin

, , 1 Comment

After anti-abortion group Youth Defence enraged the public for parking an anti-abortion van outside the Rape Crisis center, pro-choice activists picketed their office in Dublin. Please watch, like, tweet and share this video.

This was a spontaneous protest and hopefully marks a watershed in the struggle for women’s reproductive rights in Ireland.

Read Post →

REITs for the (Property) Czars

, , Comment Closed

Recently the rating agency Fitch highlighted the massive connection between shadow banking and mortgage REITs, a property investment vehicle that has increased hugely on the back of the collapse in the US property market. While REITs have been around for a while (first legislated for in 1960 by President Eisenhower ) they didn't make much of an impact, as other forms of investment through asset speculation dominated the stock market.

With a financial crisis on the back of a bursting property bubble however, REITs finally came into its own as it seemed that the financial collapse deflated values in property sufficiently to make them a worthwhile investment given that prices in certain markets (mostly major capital cities) would likely rise again. As one of the requirements of REIT is to disperse up to 80% of its profits to shareholders, it is considered to be 'safe' from a regulatory point of view.

However, the Fitch report was written to highlight the considerable risk that mortgage REITs might pose, as they are being financed through the shadow banking system.

Read Post →