In my opinion, some seriously bizarre stuff coming from Stephen Collins in the IT this morning.
Budget must show wealthy elite are not untouchable - The Irish Times - Sat, Dec 01, 2012Former taoiseach John Bruton, in an interesting blog during the week, attempted to give some context to the “austerity” policies that have seen Irish people suffer a fall in incomes through pay cuts and tax increases and a big reduction in the value of their assets.
He pointed out that while real gross national product is now back to the 2004 level, it is still 90 per cent higher than it was in 1997, and while consumer spending is back to its 2006 level, it is still 80 per cent higher than it was in 1997.
Adjusting ourselves to living on the level of income we had six or seven years ago is not easy, but even when the adjustment has been made we will still be among the wealthiest countries in the world with some of the highest paid public servants and relatively generous welfare payments.
"Six or seven years ago" was 2006. The very height of the economic bubble. And the suggestion seems to be that it's a sufferance that we've only got the same income today as then? What? What? I simply don't get that on any level.
Collins also says:
Again, I'm lost here. In 2008 we still had almost full employment. And yet we're 85% of the way there despite, in that time, unemployment going up to 15% (25% if you include underemployment), the income/economic activity from the property bubble being almost totally gone, several billions having come out of the economy in several successive budgets and negative multipliers continuing apace.If Michael Noonan meets his targets for 2013, then 85 per cent of the painful measures required since 2008 to save the State from bankruptcy will have been implemented. Getting to the finishing line will not be easy, but the end is now in sight as long as the Government keeps its nerve.
Either I need a lot more education (very possible) or this is bizarro world stuff.