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Where is all the money going?



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,472 ✭✭✭✭tom1ie

    Jesus Christ I hope they never see any type of power.

    The country would be knackered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,472 ✭✭✭✭tom1ie

    Well there’s a well educated population- so that a lot to show in education.

    There’s a very good social welfare safety net- so there’s that to show for social protection.

    Yeah- health is a joke shop.

  • Registered Users Posts: 483 ✭✭hymenelectra

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,579 ✭✭✭StevenToast

    Where is the money going?

    Have you eaten out lately, gone to any shopping centre, seen the new cars on the roads, bid on any house?......its being spent....

    The Country is awash with money, alot of people are rotten with cant get a tradesman because they are booked out until 2025....extensions, attic conversions etc...

    You only hear from the ones playing the poor mouth.....

    The majority of the country are just fine.....

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Registered Users Posts: 483 ✭✭hymenelectra

    Besides the housing issue and the rent issue and the healthcare issue and the waiting lists for treatment and the lack of nurses, gardai, teachers, doctors, school places, hotels, transport infrastructure, blooming homelessness, and more, yeah, it's going great.

    There are those making money off this misfortune, directly or indirectly, and it's never been better. Lots of money being transferred from many to fewer and fewer.

    It all goes somewhere, and the inherent financial potential of that homeless person has been transposed onto someone else. The more of them you see, the wealthier someone else becomes.

    It's all very lovely and squishy cuddly goosebumps.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,960 ✭✭✭WesternZulu

    The ERSI recently published a report where they estimate our living standards are comparable to Germany.

    While individual consumption is quite unremarkable compared to other countries Ireland differs in the levels of individual savings. Irish people save more than most.

    The repost is here:

    There are lots wrong with the country but we’re no where near as bad as the OP makes out. Quite the opposite.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,823 ✭✭✭Northernlily

    I don't know, but we are not getting value for our taxes. I pay circa 900 euro a week in tax and wouldn't be confident I'd be picked up by an ambulance in time if I was struck down with a heart attack or some other ailment this evening.

    You can say we are wealthy and attend all the concerts you want and go on loads of foreign holidays but ultimately if a country cannot stand by it's basic service delivery and treats some of its most vulnerably I'll extremely poorly are we really wealthy?

    Having so many people in my life lost to mental health and other ailments because the services are not there - maybe my definition of wealth is different to yours.

    What actually happened on the ground, what's observed tells a very different story to some of the official stats. Not long ago I and others spent 2 hours waiting for an ambulance with a girl who came off her bike, cracked her head, had a fit and was vomiting in Sandymount of all places!! Literally within 3km of Vincent's.

    Wealthy on paper, not so wealthy in passing the benefits towards the people who contributed to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,049 ✭✭✭downtheroad

    Not seeing the health facilities Jim. I had the misfortune of having to attend Beaumont A&E recently and am not being too hyperbolic when I say it looked like I stumbled into a field hospital in sub Saharan Africa. The staff were trying their best to be fair to them, but the place was a disgrace.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,754 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    It appears as though you’re just cherry picking examples and blowing them entirely out of proportion to try and support your grander claim that there is enormous amounts of public money being wasted while the Irish economy has not improved significantly in the last decade or two, which is why you’re hearing about how the Irish economy has improved over the last two decades.

    Any idiot can point to examples of what are in their opinion a waste of public funds, while ignoring the obvious reality that the picture they’re trying to paint is not the same for everyone, and certainly it is not the same for the vast majority of people in Ireland who happen to own property which is their primary means of generating wealth, as opposed to being reliant on income from employment as an indicator of wealth.

    I don’t expect that anyone who owns property is likely to vote for parties which have made it clear that they intend not only to reduce the value of wealth generating assets, but makes promises to increase public spending on social housing at enormous cost to the Exchequer. Homeowners don’t tend to look favourably on those sorts of initiatives. You claimed the current Government housing policy is a disaster, I’m simply pointing out the rationale behind it.

    It’s as though you imagine only poor people vote or something, and they should vote Labour and Sinn Fein, ignoring the reality that the current parties in Government don’t just exist to serve poor people’s interests, they’re more interested in keeping the people who vote for them happy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,385 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I just googled it and there's a link to the world bank which has details

    PPP tends to be measured against the US dollar, so if it's greater than 1 it means stuff in that country is cheaper and between 0 and 1 is more expensive

    Now to 100% clear I'm not an economist, but my understanding of PPP is there's different ways to measure it which can produce different results

    Bit like how the consumer price index can vary depending on what goods you track

    For example food here is probably way more than 25% more expensive than the US which is as much down to different food standards and agricultural policies than PPP

    To take it a different direction, China has a PPP of something like 3 IIRC, so everything costs a third as much right? Well good luck finding a $300 iPhone 14 Pro then 😉

    An iPhone 14 Pro in China costs the equivalent of around $1100 which is actually more expensive than the US price of $1000.

    I'll confess I'm not 100% sure I'm comparing the correct models but my point stands. There's enough people in the US and Europe who will pay over a grand for a phone so Apple aren't going to sell them for a fraction of the price anywhere else just because of PPP

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

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  • Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭Emblematic

    I suppose it depends on how you define living standards. The OECD chart I posted was the mean household disposable income also including social transfers, which I think gives a fair enough indication of how well off we are as a country. GDP per capita doesn't really work in Ireland due to the presence of multinationals running their profits through the country.

    It is not the story we like to tell ourselves but there you are. If you were to stop people on the street and ask them if we have more or less disposable income than Brexit Britain, the overwhelming opinion would be that we have much more. How, after all, can a country that is not even in the EU have more household disposable income per capita than Ireland. But again, there you are. They have more than us.

    Also I think most people would imagine that we have significantly more disposable income than Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia etc. But we don't.

    That is not to say that some people aren't doing very well here in Ireland. Some people are doing very well and fair play to them. But the same is true of these other countries.

    At the same we are doing better than many countries just not as well as we like to tell ourselves.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,960 ✭✭✭WesternZulu

    The report I referenced that compares Irelands living standards to Germany doesn’t use GDP, it uses GNI * instead

    The reality is household savings in Ireland are far more than those countries you listed

    Even a cursory look at median salaries in Ireland point that we’re better off than those countries

  • Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭Emblematic

    Sorry I haven't had time to read the report in full. I think the difference might be the inclusion of things like housing costs in the disposable income figures that I posted. GNI probably doesn't take that into account.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭beachhead

    The usual begrudgers,pseudo economists and those looking for a political party are out again


    Warned: Post without name calling, or don't post.

    Post edited by Big Bag of Chips on

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,754 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    How, after all, can a country that is not even in the EU have more household disposable income per capita than Ireland. But again, there you are. They have more than us.

    Easily enough when they had a massive head start, and Ireland are only recently catching up. Then the UK went and shot themselves in the foot with Brexit, allowing everyone else to catch up!

    It must be stressed that there are many different measures of an economy’s growth, and the Irish Central Statistics office has devised a measure called GNI* designed to strip out the effects of the activities of globalised companies in Ireland. Ireland has a GNI per capita, PPP adjusted, of $67k compared to the UK’s $45k or only about 50% higher than the UK. And if you look at disposable family income per capita, depending on the precise measure chosen, the two countries are broadly comparablewith Ireland only recently having caught up with the UK.

    The other point to be borne in mind is that Ireland has only recently become a high income country and so the level of accumulated wealth is much lower than the UK. The UK has been a relatively wealthy country for a very long time and that position is only very gradually being eroded. The problem for many in the UK is that the income from wealth is very unequally distributed. Whereas Ireland’s GINI index (measure of inequality) is close to the European average, UK society is significantly more unequal.,caught%20up%20with%20the%20UK.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭MegamanBoo

    I think you're overestimating how concerned a lot of homeowners are with the market value of their house.

    I bought when housing was expensive and I can live with the value dropping, if it means my kids might be able to own their own home, or we don't lose critical workers because they can't afford to live here.

    Different story if you're a landlord of course.

    And how many examples of wasting public funds do you want before it stops being 'cherry picking'? I got plenty! Open your eyes, It's really quite rampant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭Emblematic

    @One eyed Jack "Easily enough when they had a massive head start, and Ireland are only recently catching up. Then the UK went and shot themselves in the foot with Brexit, allowing everyone else to catch up!"

    I'm afraid, once again, the data on disposable household income does not support that. From the same source if we plot the number against year we get the chart below:

    We can see that Ireland suffered during the financial crisis which is understandable but the gap has not significantly narrowed since Brexit. The gap is still greater than it was ten years ago.

    Despite Brexit you are still better off in the UK in terms of disposable income than Ireland. I think this is contrary to what most people might like to believe.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,524 Mod ✭✭✭✭Amirani

    We have the highest life expectancy in the EU and perform really well on core healthcare metrics.

    Our outcomes in a wide range of cancer treatments and other conditions is really good relative to peers, and a huge amount of our health budget has gone into spending on these. Yeah, ED departments and trolley can be a shitshow (Ireland ain't unique here), but most of the spend is going on things that make large differences to patient health outcomes. This is more important that perceptions of service, which is all you seem to be focused on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,754 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    I don’t think I am overestimating how concerned a lot of homeowners are with the market value of their property or properties. Their property is their greatest asset, and the means they have of generating wealth which they can pass on to their children, as opposed to your idea of your being ok with the value of your property decreasing if it meant your children would be able to afford property which would also decrease in value over time.

    Not only is that not a sound economic investment, but economics isn’t so linear as that - the value of property falling wouldn’t necessarily mean that your children would then be able to afford it, certainly not without having the means to do so. Critical workers who can’t afford to live here aren’t much of an asset to the economy either, and there’s no fear of losing critical workers who can afford to live here, they’re the type of workers who Government are trying to encourage to stay and put down roots so that their children will continue to contribute to the economy.

    It’s not any different if one is a landlord, or what some people like to call themselves - “accidental landlords”, after they inherited property which they imagined would make them a mint, only to see their plans hampered by increasing regulations in the private rental sector which is encouraging more of them to want to offload the property on some other sucker, to which Leo’s response is an attempt to suggest landlords ain’t the bad guys -

    As for the amount of examples you could present to demonstrate wastage of public funds, I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m aware there’s plenty of wastage, and there’s no need to compound that wastage by suggesting that Government should introduce policies which would only increase the numbers of ghost estates around the country, devalue the property market, and still there would be no guarantee your children, or anyone else’s children for that matter, would be able to afford to buy their own home. Your grandchildren however, would be stuck with the bill for that kind of poor policy implementation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,754 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    Despite Brexit you are still better off in the UK in terms of disposable income than Ireland. I think this is contrary to what most people might like to believe.

    Whether or not anyone either in Ireland or the UK is better off is relative. That’s if you were actually going to consider asking random people for their opinions on what they believe - they’re unlikely to consider average or mean national statistics, let alone the idea of comparing themselves at a national level with other countries.

    By way of example - you’d get very different answers to that question were you to compare the answers you’d get in Darndale compared to Surrey, or Rathdown compared to Rochdale! 😳

    On a national level, yes, they’re better off in the UK, for now, because of the vast gap in wealth inequality which has existed in the UK for the best part of the last two centuries, which hasn’t existed in Ireland since the founding of the State given Government policies around the provision of welfare, education and wealth redistribution.

    I’m by no means a fan of the Welfare State, but that it exists? Meh, I’d sooner encourage people to create and maintain their own wealth through enterprise and entrepreneurship than be reliant on the State to provide for them. The US might well be a basket case I wouldn’t use for any sort of a comparison, but that’s the one thing it does well, whereas in Europe we appear to take the opposite approach.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,235 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    I'm in the UK and it's worse here. Full employment used to mean wages went up. Now we're at or near full employment and we're being told by government not to ask for pay rises. Meanwhile corporate profits are through the roof and their shareholders are getting big pay rises through dividends.

    In other words, the money is getting sucked up to the already wealthy. They get a pay rise while sitting on their arze and letting their wealth work for them, but those of us who actually work are less well off. Passive income from shares is taxed lower than income from labour. Like, WTF?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,450 ✭✭✭fliball123

    With regards to living standards I think we have now morphed into a 2-tier dichotomy with regards to living standards. The vast majority of those under the age of 30 are struggling in this country and its due to the high cost of property, rents, childcare etc. I mean we have people playing our welfare system having multiple kids and being given everything, we have our older cohorts who bought their house at a much cheaper price point and then you have the under 30s trying to work pay tax and contribute to our society and do things the right way and it is near impossible for these people to get a foot hold in Ireland. It will be interesting to see the emigration figures for 2023 already we are up 10% from 2021 to 2022 but this is disguised with our net migration figure due to the hundreds of thousand refugees flooding here and they are not all from war torn countries, stories of people being allowed through our emigration process with no documentation is becoming more common and our bleeding heart lefties are their mouth pieces and a lot of these people are simply here for our welfare goodies and our best and brightest indigenous youth our under 30s in large percentages are running to pastures new at the very least they will be able to rent somewhere to live for themselves. The country is going to be completely unrecognizable in 20/30 years.

    For those arguing about the different political options. The simple answer is for the vast majority there is no party that will help. Every one of the promise the sun moon and stars and then have excuse after excuse when they get power and are fumbling when it comes to the implementation of these promises. As a previous poster put it the public sector do not do accountability well it should start with politicians and they should be kept to their word. If they do not implement what they got voted in on they should simply receive zero in their pension.

  • Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭Emblematic

    @One eyed Jack 1:19am "Whether or not anyone either in Ireland or the UK is better off is relative. That’s if you were actually going to consider asking random people for their opinions on what they believe - they’re unlikely to consider average or mean national statistics, let alone the idea of comparing themselves at a national level with other countries.

    By way of example - you’d get very different answers to that question were you to compare the answers you’d get in Darndale compared to Surrey, or Rathdown compared to Rochdale! 😳"

    That's why you don't rely on anecdotal evidence but rather some sort of statistic such as household disposable income as I have tried to provide.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    again, most money nowadays is in fact created within our global financial system, i.e. by banks, in the form of credit, the main function of credit in this modern era is primarily to (re)inflate the value of assets such as, and in many cases, the value of property and land, hence which has lead to our current property market fcuk ups....

    ...oh and credit is also used to speculate in other asset markets including stock, share, bond markets etc, engaging in other financialisation activities such as share buy backs etc, helping to increase the values of such, whereby everyone becomes a winner(well actually only truly major asset owners gain, as theyre the ones that own the majority of assets, these are also mainly older generations to, so younger generations generally get fcuked in this game to....) if you re wondering where all the money is going, and what it really is doing....

  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭techman1

    The total welfare bill is north of 20 billion not 2 billion, that's effectively what the government gets in corporation tax receipts. Our welfare rates are much higher than in UK therefore in order to entice people into the labour markets you have to pay much higher wages. Then ireland takes the higher rate of tax at 40k which is below the average industrial wage and lower than our European peers. The result of all this is that it is more attractive to stay on welfare in Ireland and not work. The less people working especially in low wage jobs drives up prices because there is less stuff being produced. The productivity of the multinational sector distorts irelands statistics as alot of that productivity isn't actual goods and services but money moved through ireland to avail of our low corporation tax rates

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,404 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78 workers in lowered paid jobs are less productive? to folks on the dole in the uk, and you ll find, its a very depressing existence, this in turn forces some into criminality, in order to survive....

    ..the true causations of unemployment, particularly long term unemployment, are in fact highly complex, you ll find many, if not most struggling with all sorts of highly complex psychological disorders, from autism, mood disorders such as bi-polar, personality disorders, learning disabilities, and beyond(pull out the dsm....) ll find many if not most of these individuals have severely struggled within our educational and training systems, particularly at the early stages, i.e. primary and secondary, many leaving prematurely, leaving them with all sorts of long term, complex psychological problems including complex traumas, anxieties and depressive disorders, which of course can include addiction problems and disorders.... ll also find other welfare traps include the affordability of child care, or more so, the lack of the ability to afford so, leading to long term welfare dependencies....

    ...completely agree about the distortions of the existence of the multi nationals here, but its extremely important to add the growing, non productive activities of these businesses and institutions, ie. financialised actives such as share buy backs etc etc

    ...these issues truly are highly complex in nature, to the point, we dont actually really understand them in full, and may never....

  • Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭Emblematic

    The query about Ireland relative to Brexit Britain has prompted an investigation into household disposable incomes for Ireland relative to other countries in Europe generally over time.

    I do think disposable household income per capita is generally better than the likes of GDP (or GNI) since essentials like housing costs which are very high in Ireland are taken into account.

    So looking at the Eurostat table below:

    Adjusted gross disposable income of households per capita in PPS [TEC00113__custom_7143204]

    For the most recent year of full data (2021), we have:

    Ireland (in green) is just below Italy which itself is just below the EU average (in blue). Ireland is number 12 on the list out of the 27 EU countries.

    The web page allows you to pick different years going back to 2011. What is interesting is that Ireland is at number 12 throughout the years and always a bit below the EU average. I think this may be surprising to many people who might have thought we bounced back dramatically since 2011 relative to other countries. But that does not appear to be the case.

    That said, we're still better off than many countries, though in the case of the likes of Slovenia, Lithuania, Chechia, not as much as we might imagine. A few percentage points at best.

    We just need to accept that the economy is not working as well for ordinary people as we might imagine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,202 ✭✭✭Tazz T

    The money is being sucked out of the economy by BTR (Build-To-Rent) institutional investment companies. Billions paid by workers in the Irish economy to pay insane rents inflated by aforesaid investment companies goes direct to Florida to fund the pensions of the US elderly.

    And it's all sponsored and tax enabled by the FF/FG state (and much of it fronted by ex-NAMA to make it looks Irish).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,381 ✭✭✭Yurt2

    The poster is correct, spend on jobseekers allowance and benefit is approx 2bn (in 2022). We have a half-trillion (nominal) GDP, that's chump change and a drop in the ocean. You're conflating the wider department's spend on dole, with their much broader remit.

    Just under half of the headline expenditure of the Department of Social Welfare is pensions, which I'm not sure if your cribbing about or not? Other line-items include maternity benefit, illness benefit, farm assistance payments, carers allowance, back to school allowances, working family payment, child benefit. You want to tell citizens they're for the chopping block to achieve to some sort of notional productivity gains? We're already among the most productive workers on the planet.