A very interesting article in today's Sindo which finally nails the biggest issue facing our Republic - the chronic overspending our Government has been indulging in since the collapse of the bubble tax windfall in 2008.
Economist warns that public pay is out of control - Independent.ie
A catastrophic failure to tackle Ireland's "out of control" public spending means it is now a high-tax economy, it has been claimed.
Despite a budget deficit of €15bn last year, the public pay bill is up to 35 per cent higher than the OECD average and our welfare spend is 29 per cent higher than the average, leading economist and Trinity College senator Sean Barrett has said.
We ramped up spending when we had the windfall taxes rolling in, but we have not even begun to attempt to get spending back into line with normality in the intervening 5 years - preferring instead to ramp up borrowing by more than €100 Billion, €65 Billion of which was borowed from the Troika.
"The international comparisons on pay in that report show that Ireland has a high public pay bill," he said. "The OECD average for compensation of employees is 10.8 per cent of GNP and in Ireland it is 14.1 per cent."
The OECD average - which includes wealthy Countries. We are not a wealthy Country!
Dr Barrett said that seeking cuts of only €300m from the public sector when total spending amounts to more than €51bn was totally inadequate. He added that the problem "must be confronted".
"Current expenditure is €51.5bn, from which the Government is looking for €300m in savings," he said. "These savings targets could also have been met had we made across-the-board cuts of 0.58 per cent.
By any reasonable analysis of the numbers, the overspend on PS pay, perks and pensions is more than €3 Billion a year. Cutting the spend on pay (alone) by €300 million doesn't even begin to address the issue.
And then there is some gratuitous populist wánk from the FFailures:
Caused by you FFailure barstards and the economic bubble you blew up until it exploded.Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath said: "Working families have been hammered and they can take no more. The cumulative impact of all the measures introduced since 2008 has put an enormous strain on families, communities and the spirit of the nation. A lot of poverty is under the radar."