The cost per capita of running this country is greater than the UK.
For example, we have the most roads per capita in Europe (due to daft housing policies). Those roads are maintained out of the public purse.
The UK has 6km of road per person. We have 24km of road per person.
It may well be. Does it have to be?
The number of roads has nothing to do with modern housing policies. These roads came into place in the 18th and 19th centuries when the British were here. Britain is an uncommonly densely populated place.
Not true. Roads that have housing built along them need to be kept maintained, but local authorities do not use the fact that in some cases there is no existing housing to refuse planning permission.
That's not true either. A sizeable number of country roads were animal tracks.
Do you have any evidence to back up this bit in bold? Other than anecdotal.
If you do have such evidence, have you taken into account the following:
- the relative services provided in both states
- the relative % of children in education
- the relative expenditure on defence
- the relative age of the population (very young and very old need more health care)
- the relative % size of the welfare dependent population
- the relative social welfare rates
- the relative direct grants provided by central government
-the relative savings in terms of scale
Once you have either allowed for the differences in service requirements caused by the above, only then can you say that the costs per capita of running this country is greater than the UK. It would be quite a comprehensive study and I would be interested in reading it so maybe you could provide a link.
2011 UK gross govt expenditure was £638bn (approx €760bn) for a population of 62m, or about €12,300 per person.
Irish gross expenditure was €69bn for a population of about 4.3m, or €16,000 per person.
Totals such as this are not very informative. The devil is in the detail.
The problem is that there has been very very little proper analysis done. n97 mini's mention of roads per person is going in the right direction, but as Godge days you need to look at things like relative % of children in education and not just total expenditures.
Likewise the cost of things needs analysis and not just headline figures.
Regardless of what the heads of expenditure are, a country that spends €16k per person vs a country that spends €12k per person, costs more per capita. It's a statement of fact.
The reasons why Ireland costs around a third more than the UK to run are worth exploring, but it's likely that we spend more per head on everything, roads, health, salaries, etc. Certainly any comparison I have made (possibly with the exception of military expenditure) we spend more.
UK budgeted Government spending for the year from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013 is £683 billion, or €819.6 billion at current exchange rates, for a population of 63 million (2010 estimate plus a little for population growth), or about €12,900 per person.
Irish budgeted Government spending for the nearest equivalent period, i.e. calendar year 2012, is €61.5 billion for a population of 4.59 million (2011 Census figure), or about €13,400 per person.
If you exclude Defence spending, which is only reasonable given that the UK has major global military commitments by comparison to Ireland, the UK figure for Government spending per capita is about €12,200 per person, while the Irish figure is about €13,200. So the difference is about 8.5%.
The population density of the UK is 255/sq. km.
The population density of Ireland is 65/sq. km.
That's a factor of 4, the same as 24km:6km.
It's hard to decipher what your vision for Ireland's infrastructure is, in your ideal world - plenty of roads in / around urban centres, intercity motorways, and vast swathes of inaccessible countryside, where this is the norm... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bqQ-C1PSE...?!