Ireland’s experience of austerity is being downplayed internationally

Dr Rory Hearnes’ article (Irish Examiner July 4) on the stark and brutal effects of Irish ‘austerity’ should be essential reading for all concerned Irish citizens.

Ireland’s experience of austerity is being downplayed internationally

The article, for the first time, cuts through government spin and bluster about the so called success of the austerity programme and the much vaunted ‘economic recovery’.

It outlines in clear, factual, irrefutable and unambiguous detail, the calamitous horrors of lopsided austerity, foisted mainly by government choice on the most vulnerable in Irish society.

Dr Hearne, quite rightly points out that the Irish ‘recovery’ has been built on major human rights violations and undermines long term social and economic development.

Between 2008 and 2014, over €30 billion has been ripped out of the Irish economy, negatively impacting on all services such as health, education, child poverty, crime prevention, housing, homelessness, suicide, mass youth emigration, just some of the critical areas he mentions.

All of this was to recapitalise private banks and bond holders at the behest of our EU and IMF ‘partners’.

The article highlights that countries like Ireland and Greece, as well as the EU and IMF, have choices in dealing with debt and financial crises; debt relief is an option as is taxing the wealthy, financial services and higher incomes, rather than taking it from public services, the poor and middle income earners.

Irish governments favoured the latter, easier option and the human misery and economic damage as a result will be felt for generations.

Finally, and again quite rightly, Dr Hearne states that Ireland’s austerity-and-recovery model is being misrepresented on the international stage and should not be followed by Greece or any other countries in crisis.

Well done Irish Examiner for continually providing a platform for contrarian and truthful comment.

John Leahy

Wilton Road

Cork

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