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"Austerity" in Ireland this past decade

  • 17-06-2018 11:39am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 353 ✭✭Creative83


    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly. Welfare rates for people over the age of 25 were maintained. And sure, we paid a bit more tax and some services curtailed. But is it right to be termed 'austerity' or is it just a rallying cry from the left here in Ireland?

    I mean, consider what happened in Greece and Italy... I would argue they know what true austerity is better then we do here in Ireland.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,759 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    Creative83 wrote: »
    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly. Welfare rates for people over the age of 25 were maintained. And sure, we paid a bit more tax and some services curtailed. But is it right to be termed 'austerity' or is it just a rallying cry from the left here in Ireland?

    I mean, consider what happened in Greece and Italy... I would argue they know what true austerity is better then we do here in Ireland.


    What happened in this country was that the trokia dictated what had to be done and the country (government of the day) stuck by it.

    We all saw tax increases and our take home pay drop, but it was short term pain.

    The likes of Greece agreed to one thing and went ahead and did the opposite, thus prolonging their pain.

    And it was a ralling cry for the left, Greece were their poster boys.


  • Posts: 25,611 ✭✭✭✭ Arthur Agreeable Visitation


    The stoppage in infrastructure development for the best part of a decade is leading to "suffering" and will continue to for a good while. Building anything now will cost twice as much as it would have during "austerity" and will come along 10 years later than it should have.
    There's also "wage scars" where people my age (around 30) had several years out of employment or in a sector with few prospects earning a good bit less than people "should" be at our age. How much austerity can be directly blamed for that is another issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,933 ✭✭✭smurgen


    Creative83 wrote: »
    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly. Welfare rates for people over the age of 25 were maintained. And sure, we paid a bit more tax and some services curtailed. But is it right to be termed 'austerity' or is it just a rallying cry from the left here in Ireland?

    I mean, consider what happened in Greece and Italy... I would argue they know what true austerity is better then we do here in Ireland.

    A bit more tax?my USC since the banking crash is probably in the tens of thousands at this stage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,852 ✭✭✭✭Geuze


    Creative83 wrote: »
    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly. Welfare rates for people over the age of 25 were maintained.

    This is incorrect.

    All welfare rates, except the State Pension, were cut twice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,852 ✭✭✭✭Geuze


    Creative83 wrote: »
    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly.

    I am taking austerity as meaning a fiscal contraction, a reduction in the fiscal deficit.

    Then the answer is yes, of course we suffered.

    People had to pay more tax.

    And all PS took at least two paycuts.

    Yes, compared to Greece, we didn't suffer as much.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Creative83 wrote: »
    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly. Welfare rates for people over the age of 25 were maintained. And sure, we paid a bit more tax and some services curtailed. But is it right to be termed 'austerity' or is it just a rallying cry from the left here in Ireland?

    I mean, consider what happened in Greece and Italy... I would argue they know what true austerity is better then we do here in Ireland.

    You should note, this year, we broke our record for the amount of children homeless since the state began recording such things and we've consistently record breaking, growing crises year on year in health and homelessness in general. We are still in the throws of it.
    We have a housing crisis driven by prices the average taxpayer has trouble meeting and policy designed to assist developers finance new builds, with the tax payer looking for hand outs to afford rent or a down payment.

    I assume you personally had nothing too bad happen, have a reasonable quality of life?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭christy c


    You should note, this year, we broke our record for the amount of children homeless since the state began recording such things and we've consistently record breaking, growing crises year on year in health and homelessness in general. We are still in the throws of it.
    We have a housing crisis driven by prices the average taxpayer has trouble meeting and policy designed to assist developers finance new builds, with the tax payer looking for hand outs to afford rent or a down payment.



    I assume you personally had nothing too bad happen, have a reasonable quality of life?

    What is the purpose of your link on debt? Are you arguing that we did not have enough austerity? Bear in mind some politicians proposed increasing this debt to fund current expenditure


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,791 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    You should note, this year, we broke our record for the amount of children homeless since the state began recording such things and we've consistently record breaking, growing crises year on year in health and homelessness in general. We are still in the throws of it.
    We have a housing crisis driven by prices the average taxpayer has trouble meeting and policy designed to assist developers finance new builds, with the tax payer looking for hand outs to afford rent or a down payment.



    I assume you personally had nothing too bad happen, have a reasonable quality of life?


    Your link on debt only proves that Ireland had less austerity than other countries.

    If we had the most austerity, we would have paid the most debt back and would have the lowest outstanding debt. Your link shows the opposite which makes the case therefore that Ireland had the least austerity.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    christy c wrote: »
    What is the purpose of your link on debt? Are you arguing that we did not have enough austerity? Bear in mind some politicians proposed increasing this debt to fund current expenditure

    The OP mentioned comparisons to Greece.
    blanch152 wrote: »
    Your link on debt only proves that Ireland had less austerity than other countries.

    If we had the most austerity, we would have paid the most debt back and would have the lowest outstanding debt. Your link shows the opposite which makes the case therefore that Ireland had the least austerity.

    The article cites rates of debt. My point is we are still suffering in many ways.
    Creative83 wrote: »
    we don't seem to have suffered too badly

    The case is far from closed. And IMO, the OPS blasé references to it does a disservice to society and it's suffering.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭christy c


    The OP mentioned comparisons to Greece.



    The article cites rates of debt. My point is we are still suffering in many ways.

    The OP mentioned Greece in terms of austerity, what point are you making with the debt levels?

    If we are suffering in terms of debt, (in the context of a discussion on austerity) would that not imply we did not have enough austerity?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    christy c wrote: »
    The OP mentioned Greece in terms of austerity, what point are you making with the debt levels?

    If we are suffering in terms of debt, (in the context of a discussion on austerity) would that not imply we did not have enough austerity?

    Also referenced welfare rates and tax. You can't blithely pass off austerity in a vacuum, which was the point of my posts. We are still suffering consequences.
    No. It would imply we borrowed a lot of money.

    Do you have an opinion of your own on this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭christy c


    Also referenced welfare rates and tax. You can't blithely pass off austerity in a vacuum, which was the point of my posts. We are still suffering consequences.
    No. It would imply we borrowed a lot of money.

    Do you have an opinion of your own on this?

    I still don't see the link you are making with austerity and debt levels. You say we borrowed a lot of money, true, but that seems to be a separate discussion to the one in the OP.

    I do have an opinion, but with a lot of things on boards, I prefer to read rather than post. All I'm doing here is asking you a question


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    christy c wrote: »
    I still don't see the link you are making with austerity and debt levels. You say we borrowed a lot of money, true, but that seems to be a separate discussion to the one in the OP.

    I do have an opinion, but with a lot of things on boards, I prefer to read rather than post. All I'm doing here is asking you a question

    I've answered it, possibly not to your satisfaction.
    Welfare rates, taxation, national borrowings, the many crises and debt are connected to austerity.
    The OP suggests we didn't have it as bad as Greece, I posted a link to an article comparing debt rates between Ireland and Greece. I've little interest in explaining a point to someone with no intention of discussing it for themselves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,886 ✭✭✭✭Roger_007


    The problem with the term 'austerity' in the fiscal sense is that it is always relative to the conditions that prevailed immediately before the 'austerity' period. What preceded the so-called austerity period in Ireland was a period of profligate spending of windfall tax revenue, ( much of which was related to a crazy housing bubble).
    If you compare the last decade to any other decade prior to the 'naughties', you could argue that there wasn't really any austerity at all, just a row-back from a unique period of unsustainable borrowing and spending.
    I would argue that what we had was not austerity but a restoration of economic sanity.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 353 ✭✭Creative83


    You should note, this year, we broke our record for the amount of children homeless since the state began recording such things and we've consistently record breaking, growing crises year on year in health and homelessness in general.


    With all due respect this has nothing to do with austerity and all to do with government ineptitude. This could easily be solved but the political will just isn't there. Sure how could it be?!?! 30 TD's in the dail are landlords


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Roger_007 wrote: »
    The problem with the term 'austerity' in the fiscal sense is that it is always relative to the conditions that prevailed immediately before the 'austerity' period. What preceded the so-called austerity period in Ireland was a period of profligate spending of windfall tax revenue, ( much of which was related to a crazy housing bubble).
    If you compare the last decade to any other decade prior to the 'naughties', you could argue that there wasn't really any austerity at all, just a row-back from a unique period of unsustainable borrowing and spending.
    I would argue that what we had was not austerity but a restoration of economic sanity.

    With that very narrow view, maybe. But as you allude to, there's more to a country than it's books. I don't see how looking after one aspect of running a country to the detriment of another is any sanity at all. Case in point, growing economy, high employment, growing crises.
    What's the point of a good/growing economy? Are we still looking for the trickle down myth to kick in? Austerity is a broad catch all because it has broad reaching effects.

    Creative83 wrote: »
    With all due respect this has nothing to do with austerity and all to do with government ineptitude. This could easily be solved but the political will just isn't there. Sure how could it be?!?! 30 TD's in the dail are landlords

    That makes no sense. What's austerity if not policy and how it's metered out and to whom?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 353 ✭✭Creative83


    That makes no sense. What's austerity if not policy and how it's metered out and to whom?


    It has nothing whatsoever to do with austerity...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,116 ✭✭✭Staplor


    Creative83 wrote: »
    With all due respect this has nothing to do with austerity and all to do with government ineptitude. This could easily be solved but the political will just isn't there. Sure how could it be?!?! 30 TD's in the dail are landlords

    Do advise on how to easily solve the children homeless crisis. I'd love to hear it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,082 ✭✭✭Good loser


    With that very narrow view, maybe. But as you allude to, there's more to a country than it's books. I don't see how looking after one aspect of running a country to the detriment of another is any sanity at all. Case in point, growing economy, high employment, growing crises.
    What's the point of a good/growing economy? Are we still looking for the trickle down myth to kick in? Austerity is a broad catch all because it has broad reaching effects.




    That makes no sense. What's austerity if not policy and how it's metered out and to whom?

    Your 'one aspect of running a country' however is not one of a series of equals.

    It is the overarching sine qua non from which all Govt largesse is delivered.

    Spending depends on revenue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭christy c


    I've answered it, possibly not to your satisfaction.
    Welfare rates, taxation, national borrowings, the many crises and debt are connected to austerity.
    The OP suggests we didn't have it as bad as Greece, I posted a link to an article comparing debt rates between Ireland and Greece. I've little interest in explaining a point to someone with no intention of discussing it for themselves.

    I don't see how you've answered my question at all, let alone to my satisfaction.

    The OP suggests we didn't have austerity as bad as Greece, then you posted a link showing we have a higher debt than Greece. Which as another poster pointed out, would seem to back up the OP's opinion.

    Anyway, I'll let others decide whether what you posted is relevant or not


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,205 ✭✭✭✭hmmm


    Ireland ran out of people willing to lend to it because of our over-spending.

    All this stuff about "austerity" is specious nonsense - it's like someone who has hit their credit card limit complaining about how they are being forced to live within their means.

    It wasn't austerity - we were given loans by our friends, because no-one else would give us a loan. Real "austerity" would have arrived if we didn't get those loans - schools and hospitals closing with teachers and nurses made redundant, not a slight reduction in social welfare rates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,708 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12


    Creative83 wrote:
    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly. Welfare rates for people over the age of 25 were maintained. And sure, we paid a bit more tax and some services curtailed. But is it right to be termed 'austerity' or is it just a rallying cry from the left here in Ireland?


    Personally I've had my busiest 10 years ever. I have enjoyed low interest rates, almost zero inflation, low fuel prices etc. Despite the extra taxes I made more money so it would be easy for me to say that we didn't suffer much. However people 10 or 20 years younger than me suffered. Lost jobs, overtime, bonus etc. Some of these bought a home at the height of the boom. Many lost their homes, savings & are homeless and penny less. Sure they will be housed but many will never be in a position to buy a home again. Many have put off children so long that they might not be able to have any.

    The last 10 years split this country in two. The difference between the have & have nots has increased.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,791 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    I've answered it, possibly not to your satisfaction.
    Welfare rates, taxation, national borrowings, the many crises and debt are connected to austerity.
    The OP suggests we didn't have it as bad as Greece, I posted a link to an article comparing debt rates between Ireland and Greece. I've little interest in explaining a point to someone with no intention of discussing it for themselves.


    Absolute nonsense.

    Austerity is required if you are living beyond your means and your debts are too high.

    If you impose austerity, you reduce debt.

    If you still have high debt, after a period of "supposed" austerity, then you really didn't impose austerity.

    Your link clearly shows therefore that Ireland has had it a lot better than Greece as we were able to maintain a higher level of debt.

    It is pretty simple basic economics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,791 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    With that very narrow view, maybe. But as you allude to, there's more to a country than it's books. I don't see how looking after one aspect of running a country to the detriment of another is any sanity at all. Case in point, growing economy, high employment, growing crises.
    What's the point of a good/growing economy? Are we still looking for the trickle down myth to kick in? Austerity is a broad catch all because it has broad reaching effects.

    That makes no sense. What's austerity if not policy and how it's metered out and to whom?

    There isn't any logical coherence to this post.

    You seem to define "austerity" as a political slogan, as if almost anything the government does is caused by "austerity" or is blamed on "austerity" without it actually in anyway being related to austerity as the rest of us understand it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,837 ✭✭✭Edward M


    blanch152 wrote: »
    There isn't any logical coherence to this post.

    You seem to define "austerity" as a political slogan, as if almost anything the government does is caused by "austerity" or is blamed on "austerity" without it actually in anyway being related to austerity as the rest of us understand it.

    I would consider our current govt as being austere at least, maybe not something that affects people in the common sense meaning of austerity, but certainly fiscally austere as regards spending policies.
    I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but if a govt has money available to spend on services that seem to be worsening while tax take is increasing yet hard pressed workers aren't seeing any improvement in their take home pay or in the services their taxes are funding then that to me would certainly be austere.
    No scope for tax cuts, still huge debt to be serviced and services seemingly worsening, is that austerity or just bad governing?
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/little-or-no-scope-for-income-tax-cuts-in-budget-says-esri-1.3535305?mode=amp


  • Registered Users Posts: 960 ✭✭✭Triangle


    Creative83 wrote: »
    Did we suffer that badly from "austerity" here in Ireland? The reason I have that in quotes is that compared to other European countries we don't seem to have suffered too badly. Welfare rates for people over the age of 25 were maintained. And sure, we paid a bit more tax and some services curtailed. But is it right to be termed 'austerity' or is it just a rallying cry from the left here in Ireland?

    I mean, consider what happened in Greece and Italy... I would argue they know what true austerity is better then we do here in Ireland.

    Where I worked before the recession....
    At least 4, if not 5 rounds of redundancy
    Wages frozen for 10 years.
    No bonuses for 10 years
    Benefits removed
    Longer working hours
    Added stress

    While at the same time
    Increased taxes
    New taxes
    Removal of benefits
    Pensions raided
    Services declined
    Infrastructure decline
    Mass (edit spelling) emigration of youth/skills

    It's not called a lost decade for nothing....

    On top of all this, alot were unfortunate enough to lose their home.

    We were hit bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,791 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Edward M wrote: »
    I would consider our current govt as being austere at least, maybe not something that affects people in the common sense meaning of austerity, but certainly fiscally austere as regards spending policies.
    I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but if a govt has money available to spend on services that seem to be worsening while tax take is increasing yet hard pressed workers aren't seeing any improvement in their take home pay or in the services their taxes are funding then that to me would certainly be austere.
    No scope for tax cuts, still huge debt to be serviced and services seemingly worsening, is that austerity or just bad governing?
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/little-or-no-scope-for-income-tax-cuts-in-budget-says-esri-1.3535305?mode=amp


    What you are describing is a government that is fiscally conservative.

    A fiscally austere government is imposing stringent cuts in public expenditure and significant rises in taxation. A fiscally conservative government is restraining public expenditure but not cutting it.

    We get the services our taxes pay for. There is an awful lot of stuff that we don't tax that other countries do, while we impose too much tax on higher earners. We also spend much more money on social welfare than other countries do and less on services.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Absolute nonsense.

    Austerity is required if you are living beyond your means and your debts are too high.

    If you impose austerity, you reduce debt.

    If you still have high debt, after a period of "supposed" austerity, then you really didn't impose austerity.

    Your link clearly shows therefore that Ireland has had it a lot better than Greece as we were able to maintain a higher level of debt.

    It is pretty simple basic economics.

    Not really.
    So with austerity measures causing such things as wages cut or freezed or your salary doesn't keep up with the cost of living and you find yourself getting deeper in debt, that's not related to austerity measures?
    blanch152 wrote: »
    There isn't any logical coherence to this post.

    You seem to define "austerity" as a political slogan, as if almost anything the government does is caused by "austerity" or is blamed on "austerity" without it actually in anyway being related to austerity as the rest of us understand it.

    No, you are choosing to look at a very high over view of austerity and how it relates to the country's books.
    No I don't define it as a political slogan, dismiss it as you like.

    You don't think anyone really had it bad, even when we were 'practically eating out of bins'?
    How do you account for the worsening crises? They didn't grow on the magic crisis tree. They were exacerbated by government austerity policies coupled with favouring private business over the tax payers needs.
    blanch152 wrote: »

    We get the services our taxes pay for. There is an awful lot of stuff that we don't tax that other countries do, while we impose too much tax on higher earners. We also spend much more money on social welfare than other countries do and less on services.

    Why is that? Would it have anything to do with the cost of living? Do you think if we put more money into the HSE it would improve? Should we tax the working poor more? Would they not need more tax payer dig outs to help with rent? Maybe we shouldn't be loaning NAMA monies to private builders for private profit? Is that a service we paid for?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,606 ✭✭✭✭Dohnjoe


    Roger_007 wrote: »
    The problem with the term 'austerity' in the fiscal sense is that it is always relative to the conditions that prevailed immediately before the 'austerity' period. What preceded the so-called austerity period in Ireland was a period of profligate spending of windfall tax revenue, ( much of which was related to a crazy housing bubble).
    If you compare the last decade to any other decade prior to the 'naughties', you could argue that there wasn't really any austerity at all, just a row-back from a unique period of unsustainable borrowing and spending.
    I would argue that what we had was not austerity but a restoration of economic sanity.

    This


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,791 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Not really.
    So with austerity measures causing such things as wages cut or freezed or your salary doesn't keep up with the cost of living and you find yourself getting deeper in debt, that's not related to austerity measures?



    No, you are choosing to look at a very high over view of austerity and how it relates to the country's books.
    No I don't define it as a political slogan, dismiss it as you like.

    You don't think anyone really had it bad, even when we were 'practically eating out of bins'?
    How do you account for the worsening crises? They didn't grow on the magic crisis tree. They were exacerbated by government austerity policies coupled with favouring private business over the tax payers needs.



    Why is that? Would it have anything to do with the cost of living? Do you think if we put more money into the HSE it would improve? Should we tax the working poor more? Would they not need more tax payer dig outs to help with rent? Maybe we shouldn't be loaning NAMA monies to private builders for private profit? Is that a service we paid for?


    You don't define it as a political slogan?

    Yet you use it out of context as a political slogan twice in the same post, not to mention the same old tired 2009 political slogans that you also repeat in that post.

    Austerity has a particular economic definition. You are not using it accurately in that regard, but are using it as a political slogan. Either that, or you don't understand its economic context.


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