Letter to the Editor: Finding the right balance in debate on crisis

Letter to the Editor: Finding the right balance in debate on crisis

The debate on the balance between government expenditure and income is always a hot topic.

At present we have people complaining that public expenditure is too high and rising.

At the same time, all day everyday we have complaints in media about problems in housing, hospitals, sewage/water supply, and the need for more expenditure.

Everyone seems to have forgotten or just ignores the fact that all these problems are much worse because this country suffered a spectacular bankruptcy as a result of the unchallenged reckless decisions of a small number of its own most powerful citizens in the pre-2009 period.

Public expenditure went from €19bn in 1997 to €63bn in 2009.

With the bailout of the banks, government expenditure was over €100bn in 2010 while government income was just over €50bn in 2010.

Relative to the size of the economy, government deficit was three times worse than Greece, which went bust in the same year.

To put that in a 2019 perspective, according to estimates, present government expenditure is €67bn and present government income is adequate to cover it.

When we see that unemployment has declined from 16% to 5% in much the same period, it has to be said the Irish recovery over the last decade has been good.

However, the present day problems in housing and health are worse because of the collapse in 2009-10.

Some of the same people in power prior to 2010 and who bankrupted the country are being unchallenged now; they complain about the consequences of their own past actions and blame everyone else.

That debate needs a bit more balance.

A Leavy
Sutton
Dublin

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