Yes vote to do little to create jobs: economists

A sizeable minority of economists believe a yes vote on the fiscal treaty will do little to create jobs.

However, the overwhelming view of the independent economists is that it remains in Ireland’s best interests to pass the treaty for a number of other reasons.

The survey by Indecon consultants polled 44 independent economists from the country’s top academic and research institutions.

It showed that 90% of those who answered the question thought a yes vote was in Ireland’s best economic interests. Just 10% of those who answered thought a no vote was best.

Similarly, 88.4% of those who answered the question believed inability to access the EU’s future bailout fund as a result of a no vote would likely raise Ireland’s borrowing costs. Some 9.3% believed inability to access the ESM would have no impact on borrowing costs.

In relation to budget discipline, 77.3% of those who answered the question believed a yes vote would result in greater commitment to fiscal sustainability in Ireland. Some 22.7% believed a yes vote would have no impact on Ireland’s commitment to fiscal sustainability.

But the results were closer in several other questions.

For example, while 59.1% of those who answered thought a yes vote would likely contribute to the stability of the euro, a significant 38.6% said a yes vote would have no such impact.

And while 52.4% of those who answered felt a yes vote would likely result in an increase in employment, 42.9% believed a yes vote would have no such impact.

That finding likely reflects the fact that the treaty, although mentioning growth, is far more concerned with budget discipline and debt reduction.

EU leaders are still arguing about the introduction, in tandem with the treaty, of growth measures to kick-start economies and produce jobs.

The survey authors said that while the economists undoubtedly held a range of views on specific aspects of the treaty, the level of agreement among most of them on the overall issue was “striking”.

“The potential merits of a yes vote on the fiscal treaty for Ireland’s economic interests is clearly something on which the vast majority of the leading academic and research economists agree,” they said.

All professors of economics and full-time lecturers in economics in Trinity, UCD, NUIG, UCC, NUI Maynooth, DCU, and UL were asked to participate, as were those in the Economic and Social Research Institute. Indecon also invited its own economists to participate.

No economists from Government departments, banks or other financial institutions, trade unions or the media were included.


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