web analytics

The luck of the Irish

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, November 24th, 2010 - 11 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: ,

In Question Time yesterday, Bill English said Ireland is an example of how bad the recession might have gone in New Zealand. That triggered a memory of John Key three years ago saying we should follow the Irish economic model. I guess we can just be thankful Key wasn’t in power at the time to put that crazy ‘aspiration’ in effect.

Here’s the ‘Key Notes’ from October 2007, where Key says we should adopt Ireland’s economic reforms:

Looking at Ireland

I’m always struck by the similarities between New Zealand and Ireland. We are the same size in terms of population, and we are both green, hilly, and have strong agricultural economies.

There are differences too. Ireland is also more prosperous than New Zealand. That hasn’t always been the case. Just fifteen years ago, the Irish and New Zealand economies were on a par. We were both poor performers compared to other developed countries.

Nothing much has changed in New Zealand. But Ireland has gone from being one of the poorest countries in Europe to being one of the wealthiest. It’s done this by adopting policies that encourage business growth, improve the skills of its young people, and entice Irish people all over the world to return home to live and work.

The lesson from Ireland is that countries can turn themselves around if they are determined enough. It’s a lesson New Zealand would do well to learn.

In case you’re wondering, the Irish model that Key is crediting with its apparent economic success is a strain of neoliberalism just as virulent as ours, if not more so, with an additional element of corruption.

Of course, the real reason for Ireland’s growing prosperity was, initially membership of the EU and the huge net payments it got from the EU infrastructure and agricultural budgets. After decades of poverty, the EU was helping Ireland to catch up.

Then, things went nuts. Among its neoliberal reforms, Ireland set up an ‘International Financial Services Centre’, basically a Wild West for financiers were Irish tax rules didn’t apply. The jobs and cash flowing in caused a huge property bubble. Everyone had jobs, everyone felt rich and could get even richer selling houses to each other. (sound familiar? Ireland was worse)

And then it all went to shit. The global financial system nearly collapsed, the finance jobs disappeared, the housing bubble burst, the economy went into steep decline. The recklessly over-extended Irish banks, which were riddled with corruption, went to the government for bail-outs. To pay for the bail-outs and constrain its own deficits, the government slashed spending sending many more on to the dole queue and gutting public services. Even that wasn’t enough to make investors confident enough to buy its debt and, now, it has had to go to the EU for its own bailout.

As Bill English said in the House yesterday “We have only to see the experience of Ireland, which has essentially gone broke, to see just how bad things could have been.”

Remember, that’s how bad things could have been if English, Key, and Brash had had time to put their extreme rightwing plans into effect before the crisis.

11 comments on “The luck of the Irish”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    China and Singapore have shown willing to limit and deflate property asset bubbles early on to prevent (or minimise) adverse effects on the real economy. But then those countries have politicians who think more than a year in advance.

    And in fact its not an asset bubble per se which is particularly toxic, it is when that asset bubble is being fueled by interest bearing debt.

    • Herodotus 1.1

      CV, yet a property bubble keeps the middle class ingorantly happy as there perceived wealth increases, and displays to the less well off that entering onto the conveyor belt to success is attainable.
      To the incumbent govt there is a no cost, no promise scenario to keep the middle class swinger on their side. Unfortunatelt the longer the bubble exists (held artificially) the bigger the BANG.
      But boy was it interesting of all the self congratulations at BBQ’s of how wise people were on entering the group of multi home ownership. Also how doumbfounded they were when in discussions to justify the price of a bach/crib or their new rental. It was all based on the house next doors value.

      • M 1.1.1

        ‘yet a property bubble keeps the middle class ingorantly happy as there perceived wealth increases, and displays to the less well off that entering onto the conveyor belt to success is attainable.’

        Herodotus, I still have friends boarding this supposed gravy train, doing it on a shoestring but it will only take a job loss for it to be a total train wreck. I’ve tried to caution them but they’re so wrapped up in the ‘wealth generation’ they think it can’t lose, all part of the something for nothing mantra – I think Lotto tickets would be better odds and you wouldn’t lose your shirt.

  2. tc 2

    We’ll always have an unaturally high property market when there’s no CGT to discourage those that can from making tax free gains…….Oz introduced one in the 80’s alongside compulsory super, FBT to level that one out.

    Let’s all hold our breath for the MSM to bring our money market PM to account over such statements…..that’s if you can pry them out of the corner they’re cowering in.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      And make it tougher to get credit. People who are not buying a property as a primary residence need to stump up a 50% deposit for instance.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Part of the Irish miracle was illusory , even without the real estate boom.
    The reason the large difference between GNP and GDP.

    their low tax rate meant that many companies were based in Ireland and didnt have any jobs in Ireland

    For example, Google does all its worldwide advertising through Ireland , worth billions but doesnt give jobs or services to the Irish, but Google gets 15% tax rate.

    The big Wall St banks , most of their deals are done in London, but the ‘back office’ is in Dublin. It only covers the paperwork but the high income traders are all in London and paying British taxes?

    As they say sup with the devil, and you have to pay his dues

  4. When it was originally coined, wasn’t the phrase “luck of the Irish” spoken ironically? If so, the title for this post is particularly apt.

  5. millsy 5

    What does it matter.

    The regular folks, along with those at the bottom of the heap, are the ones who are going to wear it the most. As they have all done during this whole recession.

    Maybe its time for the bankers to lose thier jobs, houses, etc.

    • Vicky32 5.1

      “Maybe its time for the bankers to lose thier jobs, houses, etc.”
      And then start leaping from windows… I remember a school teacher of ours back in the 60s telling a story about how he gave a boy a ‘saxpence’ because the boy had a Scots accent (back in the Depression – wow that teacher must have older than I realised at the time!)
      I remember feeling distant sympathy, never realising I’d be living through times that are almost as bad…
      Deb

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt to protect jobs and businesses with extra support
    In-principle decision to extend wage subsidy to support businesses and protect jobs Support will be nationwide in recognition of Auckland’s position in NZ economy and the impact of Level 2 Mortgage deferral scheme to be extended to support households The Government is taking action to support businesses and protect jobs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • National Does the Nation a Disservice
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters today called for National Party and Opposition leader Judith Collins to stop undermining democracy. “New Zealanders are sadly being fed a steady stream of misinformation about the pre-election period from the National Party,” said Mr Peters. “Its effect is to sow doubt about the legitimacy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at the graduation of Wing 340
    Graduation of Wing 340 2pm, 13 August 2020, The Royal New Zealand Police College [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Introduction Ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege to be here today to celebrate the graduation of Wing 340. Let us begin by acknowledging the presence of Coalition Government colleague, Police Minister the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More Police deployed for COVID efforts
    More Police are being deployed to the frontline to help manage the COVID response, after the graduation today of 56 new officers. “The ceremonies for the graduation of Wing 340 at the Royal New Zealand Police College were trimmed to take account of new Alert Level 2 restrictions in Wellington,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau
                                                                     Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau   New emergency and transitional homes will help ease a housing shortage in Taumarunui and provide whānau with much needed support, say Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora Minister, Peeni Henare.  The Ministers officially opened five two-bedroom units ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items
    Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. The proposals are to phase-out: some hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New opportunities for Kōpū marine facilities
    A commercial and industrial site in Thames-Coromandel will receive $8.2 million to revamp its marine-servicing infrastructure and create new economic development opportunities, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. This project is being supported from the $3 billion ‘shovel ready’ fund set aside in Budget 2020 to kick-start the post COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM comments on Auckland COVID-19 case
    After 102 days we have our first cases of Covid-19 outside of a Managed Isolation or Quarantine facility in New Zealand. Shortly I will ask Dr Bloomfield to set out the details of the case. While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Significant investment in Raukūmara Pae Maunga to prevent Raukūmara forest collapse
    An iwi-Crown approach programme to restore the Raukūmara forest on the East Coast of the North Island and boost employment opportunities for whānau, particularly rangatahi/young people, will receive $34 million funding, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced. “Raukūmara Pae Maunga is a partnership with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New partnership central to delivering more Māori housing
    Government agencies and partners are working closer together to provide more Māori Housing through the Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action (MAIHI). MAIHI is a kaupapa Māori approach that drives a system change to give effect and impact on Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Manawatū Gorge replacement highway drives forward
    Site work is soon to begin on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, the project to replace the former SH3 route through the Manawatū Gorge, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Phil Twyford was today in Woodville at the signing of a formal agreement by members of the Alliance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional economic priorities
    The Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) begins today and will focus on the major economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the Pacific.  FEMM is an important congregation of Economic Ministers and senior officials from around the region, and for the first time, the annual meeting will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Formal apology and payment to George Nepata
    Cabinet has approved a formal apology and ex gratia payment to former soldier George Nepata, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. This payment is to recognise the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide Mr Nepata with a safe system of work in April 1989 when, as a result of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF supports Hawke’s Bay community and environmental projects
    The Government is investing more than $1.6 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for a wide range of community and environmental projects in Hawke’s Bay, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. These announcements today are part of the Government’s commitment to supporting regional economies in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago