The bailout for Ireland has been a resounding success. The austerity programme that has been in place since 2008 has brought us back from the brink and piloted the economy back into recovery and economic sovereignty. Let us rejoice. Let us spread the word among the nations. We have succeeded. We are the solution to everyone’s problems everywhere.
And we have so much to celebrate.
Nearly 300,000 jobs have been destroyed, – more than one in every twelve jobs. Our job destruction rate is five times the rate in the Eurozone. We lead the EU in precarious work. We have one of the highest level of low-pay.
One-in-seven of our young people have fled the island due to the recession.
25 percent of the population suffer multiple deprivation experiences – over one million people. Over 30 percent of our children live in deprived conditions, while one-in-five people at work suffer deprivation at home.
One-in-ten people suffer from food poverty – it’s called hunger.
Ireland has absorbed over 40 percent of all bank debt imposed on European governments. Every man, woman and child owes €9,000 in private bank debt (throughout Europe its only €200). We are paying off the debts of banks that don’t even exist anymore. But, as Ollie Rehn said, that’s water under the bridge
State debt has increased by nearly five-fold in only six years. Households have debts nearly twice their income while half of SME debts are underwater. Nearly 25 percent of all mortgages are in arrears or have been restructured. Welcome to Debtor Island.
Hospital waiting lists are on the rise.
Domestic demand has fallen by 20 percent – the biggest fall suffered by any economy since the war except for Greece, another Troika project. In fact, we’re still in a domestic demand recession (but shhh, don’t tell anyone, we’re trying to celebrate).
Social Protection payments have been cut by over 10 percent in real terms over the last four years.
The Government sends young people job offers in foreign countries.
The minimum wage hasn’t been increased over its 2007 level. Statutory protection for the low-paid has been cut. Real wages are still falling.
Our tax haven tax efficient policies allow multi-nationals to get away with a 2 percent tax rate. No wonder profits are rising faster in Ireland than anywhere else in the EU.
Investment in Ireland is half the level in the Eurozone. Corporate investment is on floor. But investors are getting real bargains, buying up distressed assets at knock-down prices. Now that’s confidence.
Despair is up, car sales are down, manufacturing output is stagnating, homelessness is on the rise, most pension funds are insolvent and we have some of the highest paid bankers in Europe.
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So come to Ireland and help us celebrate. The experts were right. Our Government Ministers are wise. We were right not to listen to the doomsayers and naysayers. We are one people going forward together into a brave new future.
And don’t worry about our democracy – it won’t disturb the revelries. We hold elections, we change governments but nothing ever changes.
For we live in a one-policy state. We have so much to celebrate.