Well it would appear that we are in recession after all the staving off that we tried. Difficult times are certainly ahead and this is a time for much questioning and reflection upon how our country has been managed over the last number of years of unprecedented growth and great times. Unlike the early 80’s when recession last hit in a big way, emigration is not an option for so many people who are buried up to their necks in debt; debt that has been accrued due to living in an economy that has skyrocketed out of control due to a saturated housing market, massive increases in the cost of living even in terms of things like local government managed waste management services. These people cannot just leave their debt behind. We have also seen a ridiculous pour of finances into questionable social welfare cases. I don’t care what anyone thinks of this statement but the facts and truth are that there are plenty of people milking the social welfare service, living in free accommodation, in receipt of benefits and sometimes even linked to crime who are never investigated for welfare fraud nor do the government even care about it. We have just come out of outrageous pay deals in the public service whereby a massive drain on the states finances has been delivered with so-called benchmarking; some of the senior civil servants in this country are earning multiples of what hard working CEO’s are, who dedicated all their time to building a business and not just climbing a ladder.
From the late 90’s up until now, Ireland went through a very good period of growth. Growth that was largely due to the global upturn and not any doing of the government. Instead of dealing with that growth and shaping up the economy for change and new jobs that would future-proof the employment market, the government instead squandered public finances on providing tax breaks to developers and property investors to build a surplus of cheap and nasty, disposable, apartment blocks. Of course I don’t have to point out the stupidity of pouring money into an unsustainable industry in hope that it might just keep providing even though land and demand is running out. No other sustainable investment was made in our jobs market but yet so many of the Irish people thought that this was progress. For years I have been saying the opposite.
Interest rates are rising, especially now that Germany has got back on its feet again, the European Central Bank certainly won’t be keeping Ireland’s interests at heart. Nobody knows at the moment exactly how hard this recession will hit but what is certain is that those heads at the centre of the building boom and those in the public sector will not be affected by it in the slightest due to incalculable recent profits in construction and guaranteed pay deals and job safety in the public service. Who will suffer? Well that’s simple it’s the people responsible for creating the good times and not surfing on them, the lowly private sector workers who will be facing layoffs, business shutdown and a great manner of other horrible things. They will suffer, threatened with house repossession and forced, prolonged unemployment until such time that the private sector again starts to make money and give the economy a boost. Our country’s government has failed us miserably. It failed to see the obvious future picture and instead poured money into an unsustainable jobs market hoping that nothing would ever change. Now due to the cost of living and the labour force wage expectations as a result of that we have killed off competitive manufacturing and many of the jobs that made us strong in past decades. Nouveau riche Ireland has lined its pockets with the empty promises and mismanagement of Irish government and now we stand to fall to earth with a very large bump. The elections aren’t far away folks; just remember who it was that squandered all this money and turned a time of unprecedented growth and prosperity into a recession for all to enjoy without ever considering the rainy day!
Shhh! Don’t talk about the ‘R’ word …. maybe nobody will notice. Well , it worked until now 🙂
I think people’s experience of this will depend on which generation they are in.
Broadly speaking, people over 40 that bought their house before the boom will have a slight belt tightening, but enjoy the reduced rush hour traffic even more.
Anybody in the under 40 / just bought a house / massive debt trap is in for a very very nasty time indeed. And that’s on top of the psychological shock of people under 35 can’t remember a recession in the working lives ever.
That’s a pretty good assessment of it Paul. Anyone who came in at the end of the “boom” will definitely be feeling a bit more than belt tightening, especially if interest rates go up much more, I believe that there is another increase forecast for next month? Above all else it’s now time for common sense and careful attitudes towards money. The Celtic Tiger caused mayhem and carelessness in the economy but with enough cop-on I’m sure that we can ride this recession out without too many casualties.