The Phoney Celtic Phoenix



From top: Enda Kenny at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis; Dr Rory Hearne

Economic growth rates of 7%, thousands of new jobs, falling unemployment, traffic jams on the M50, queues at high-end stores on Grafton Street and rising property prices.

All the evidence that Ireland is in strong economic recovery?

Not so fast.

Dr Rory Hearne writes:

All those years of austerity (cuts to public services and new taxes) and wage cuts worked, right?

Yes, austerity ‘worked’ and we are in ‘recovery’ – but only if you ignore the sacrificing of a generation that has paid (and will continue to pay for many decades) the price of ‘recovery’ – particularly the tens of thousands of children pushed into poverty and deprivation and the almost quarter of a million forced to emigrate. It is only a ‘recovery’ if you ignore the multiple crises that are going on now from housing to the health service.

And only if you ignore the very shaky foundation of our economic growth with half of it based on dodgy profit shifting by multinationals.

What I’m saying here – unpopular and all as it may be – or as much as you may not want to hear it – is that there is a dark truth to our so-called ‘recovery’.

Much of the commentary about the recovery is hype and spin, which at times descends into plain lies and ignorance. Ireland is no ‘success’ story for austerity or economic growth.

What we are is a country that sacrificed the welfare of its younger generations in order to pay for a crash caused by neoliberal (free market) economic policies, corrupt and crony politics and the decisions of the generation in power and the wealthy to prioritise protecting themselves

If you don’t believe me – just look at the facts. Take children for example. The number of children aged 0-6 (the most vulnerable age) suffering from deprivation in Ireland doubled from 55,000 in 2007 to 105,000 children suffering deprivation in 2014. Ireland now has the third highest deprivation rate for children aged 0-6 in the EU15 – at 25%. This is over 8 times Norway’s level.


Levels of Deprivation for Children Age 0-6 in EU15, 2014

While one of the most shameful scandals affecting this country is the rise in number of homeless families with children. The numbers below show that by September last year there were almost 1,500 children living in emergency homeless accommodation.



Rise in numbers of homeless children nationally

Then there is that issue no one in the corridors of power wants to talk about – emigration. Despite the ‘recovery’ 35,000 young Irish people emigrated from Ireland last year. Just under a quarter of a million – 250,000 left between 2010 and 2015. If they had stayed then our unemployment rate would be double what it is now.

Our ‘recovery’ wouldn’t look as rosy with 16% unemployment – would it? The graph below shows that the emigrants are all in the under 40s generations.

They left and continue to leave not just because of the lack of jobs but because the lack of quality jobs and quality of life in Ireland. Because as, Blindboy put it, we can’t afford houses or children.



Our disadvantaged communities also paid a heavy price as community development organisations had their funding slashed and housing regeneration projects were abandoned.

I saw first-hand as a community worker the impacts of harsh austerity in a Dublin inner city social housing estate of Dolphin House where residents were left living in horrendous conditions with mould, damp and sewage in their flats.

Of course all of this was not accidental, or unfortunate ‘collateral damage’.

It resulted from a political decision by those in power to prioritise the already privileged and powerful over the younger generations. So they ensured the German and French banks and the billionaire bondholders were repaid while community and child services were cut, a recruitment embargo was put on the public sector thus cutting out a major area of employment for young people and graduates.

And for anyone who did get a job they cut the pay of new entrants.

Public spending was cut in social housing, public transport, flood defences, hospitals, schools– leaving us with a housing crisis and one of the lowest stocks of public infrastructure in Europe that will take decades to make up for.

New charges were introduced into water, property, health care (a visit to A & E is now a €100 charge if you don’t have a medical care or private health insurance. I found this out when I had to pay it when I brought my six month old baby to hospital recently). While Bus Fares have also risen.

In addressing the housing crash they created NAMA which took the developer’s toxic loans off the banks (to allow them return to profit), gave the developers and big business write-down’s on their debt and are selling that housing and land to international property speculators and vulture funds. There was no debt-write down for us ordinary joes.

Some of us were left with our massive mortgages (many of whom went into arrears –with over 30,000 facing repossession of their home) while others face rising rents and no possibility of ever owning a home.

Those in power knew the impact their policies would have. They showed who they are prepared to stand up and be courageous for. While they thumped the table at European meetings to defend multinational corporations paying a 12% (and lower) tax rate they were silent about the doubling of the numbers of children in poverty.

They would rather allow children be made homeless than to disturb the privileged and powerful by introducing a wealth tax on Ireland’s richest who grew their wealth by €34bn since 2010. The top 20% of households now have 70% of the wealth in Ireland.

I am one of the generation under the age of 40 who is straddled with a massive mortgage, paying huge childcare costs, and experiencing precarious work for years due to the public sector embargo and cuts.

My friends and family have emigrated because they can’t get a decent job. I know families struggling to get by each week, children sleeping with their parents in cars because their parents can’t afford the rent. Is this the Ireland we want?

Is this the Republic we are proud to commemorate in 2016? Ireland is no austerity success story. The recovery has been built on sacrificing younger generations.

It’s time to tell the truth about the Phoney Celtic Phoenix.

Dr Rory Hearne is a Senior Policy Analyst with TASC, the Think-Tank for Action on Social Change. He is also an independent candidate for the Seanad NUI Colleges Panel. His column appears here every Wednesday. He writes here in a personal capacity. Follow Rory on Twitter: @roryhearne

106 thoughts on “The Phoney Celtic Phoenix

      1. scottser

        i’d see myself as a bit of a trot, but this guy hearne is a total douchebag. dare i say it, i’d even rather read dan boyle than this.

    1. DaithiG

      When the US forces down the value of its dollar (Which is being called for by US companies who export which is a fair chunk of them), coupled with a strengthening Euro, then Ireland is fupped again.

    2. J Casey

      It’s interesting that the abbreviation for Phoney Celtic Phoenix is ‘PCP’, interesting because it seems like Enda Kenny is on PCP every time he open his mouth.

  1. Diddy

    But would the masters of the universe have lent us the money to run the country if we stood up to them?


    1. CMK

      Those masters of the universe wouldn’t have gotten paid if they hadn’t lent the State that money. Ireland was just a conduit through which finance capital Peter paid finance capital Paul. Last bondholder was paid I think at the end of 2015. Government borrowing now is exclusively to pay the 7.5 billion annual interest bill on the national debt, 75% of which is a direct consequence of the decisions to bailout the banks and developers. Good article, Rory.

      1. cluster

        ‘Cept that bailing out banks (and I agree that we should never have included Anglo in any guarantee or other) is only one small part of our loans.

        With the collapse of the construction boom, there was a massive hole in the public finances. Hearne is comparing things to 2007 but ignoring that we were relying on construction receipts for a large part of our spending back then.

        Austerity was arguably a choice at the European level. It was not really a choice for us, whether we like it or not.

      2. cian

        National debt is ~€200 Bn; Bailing out the banks ~60Bn;
        a lot of money but 30% which is a long way from 75%.

        1. classter

          The raw sum which is the national debt is not really the point.

          The level of interest payments servicing our debt is more relevant.

          About 13% of the govt’s spending is on debt servicing & so far as I understand bank bailouts account for about 23% of this.

          So about 3% of our annual spending is on the bank bailout.

          I accept it is not exactly as simple as that but pretending that there is nothing else going on is deluded and unlikely to produce solutions to anything.

    2. Sam

      Yes, in fact it would have been better for our credit rating if we hadn’t bailed out Anglo.
      Whatever about the pillar banks that most of us get our wages paid into (and mortgages out of), bailing out Anglo made us look like an utter soft touch.

      The head of the bond desk for Société Générale (an Irishman whose name I can’t recall at the minute) wrote in the Sunday Business Post that he was amazed that Ireland agreed to pay back those bonds at full price.

      Think about it for a second, if someone asks you for a loan, and you know that they are so soft in the head that they covered bad loans for their local bookie as well, would you have a better or worse opinion of their ability to repay you?

      By converting those bonds into sovereign debt, the scam ensured that we’d put ourselves officially on the hook.

      If the Mafia had done it, it would be called extortion, here it’s called ‘being reasonable and paying our dues’.

  2. Happy Molloy

    Ok, let’s change the narrative to “Everything is sh*t”

    Doesn’t matter what decisions were made, they shouldn’t have been made. Let’s reverse them and see if we get a different result than the Greeks for some strange reason. /sarcasm

    *note: Anglo should never have been rescued, not a pillar bank.

    1. ahjayzis

      The concept of pillar banks needs to be abolished – no bank should be allowed grow to a size whereby it’s failure jeopardises the state itself. That that hasn’t been made law, and we’re heading back into banks for private profit / public loss is a waste of a crisis.

    2. Mick

      “see if we get a different result than the Greeks for some strange reason”

      Well lets see, the Greek problem was created by right wing governments, the new government were prevented from implementing any of their polices and instead forced to continue the policies that bankrupted them in the first place. So yes it’s quite likely that if we implemented polices that put people before capital we would get very different results to the greeks.

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    “They would rather allow children be made homeless than to disturb the privileged and powerful by introducing a wealth tax on Ireland’s richest who grew their wealth by €34bn since 2010. The top 20% of households now have 70% of the wealth in Ireland.”

    I agree with the overall sentiment of the piece but this line implies malice or at best, indifference. They’re entitled, arrogant gobsheens but I can’t see them not caring about homeless children.

    A big cause of the problem, I think, is the fact we have professional politicians. A lot of them wanted to get into politics in the first place for social status and so we have a lot of very average people making decisions about very complex situations. It was only last year, David Cameron wrote a letter to a county council expressing disappointment that they were cutting some services to pensioners completely ignorant of the fact that it was his own cuts to county councils that made them necessary. Our politicians are less evil baxtards, more idiots.

    1. Kolmo

      I’d like to think they are idiots…but some of them are vicious careerists, greasy as dodgy used car dealers or estate agents, they might act the gormless tool but they’d cut you in two if you get in their way, willing to stamp and lie their way to the top at all costs – no idiots are they.

    2. han solo's carbonite dream

      i like your point and it has some merit but ultimately i don’t agree , they have advisers and civil servants who (despite the narrative) do know what they are doing.

      They knew quite well what was saved and by that virtue that something was to be cut.
      The fact that it was making kids homeless probably wasn’t known but they knew damn well it was the lesser well off what would bare the brunt, that was known.
      and was accepted as the working class weren’t FG/FF or “new” labour voters.
      They probably voted for the shinners….good enough for them ……
      that was the attitude.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        I reckon they ignorantly believe in trickle down, supply side economics. They think our entire society is dependent on millionaires *giving* us jobs. It’s a serf mentality. We have to make the rich even richer so they bless us with table scraps and if we have to take away from the bottom of society, then fair enough because it’ll work out for everyone in the end. I *think* that’s where they’re coming from.

        1. ahjayzis

          The fact they’re aiming for ‘US Style’ taxation underlines their complete apathy towards the poor and vulnerable.

          The US has heights of wealth and opulence unseen in Ireland – it also has food deserts and inflated mortality rates for the poor, housing conditions worse than any in Ireland.

          That’s collateral damage to them, though. Because in America it’s tellingly Orwellian that the lowest class ever mentioned by the politicians is the middle class.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “By enough to create at least two jobs”

            That’s the line that caught my eye. The paragraph in the OP I took issue implied, at least to me, that they are almost maliciously targeting the homeless. I just don’t think that’s true. I think it’s either apathy towards the poor because they can’t relate to them or it’s ‘tough love’ in so far as they have a very set view of how human beings *should* behave and think talking down to them is the problem. I think with Eddie there, he just didn’t consider the implications of his proposal and doesn’t want to admit that he’s wrong. A LOT of decisions are made because someone can’t admit they were wrong.

          2. ahjayzis

            Servants. He can hire servants.

            When you get to a certain level you start to measure your boosts by other people’s entire incomes. I mean if you got 20k in your pocket tomorrow would you hire someone and give them that money? What percentage of the wealthy, if their income rises by 50k tomorrow, are going to just make up jobs to get rid of the money with?

            It’s noblesse oblige and it’s hideous.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Oh I agree. Supply side economics is intellectually offensive. Rich people put their spare money in banks. But people believe otherwise and that is the problem. Whether they believe it honestly or whether they’re propaganda merchants is tougher to answer. I prefer to believe that good people do bad/stupid things. I could always be wrong though.

          4. ahjayzis

            It’s not stupidity or condescension Moyest, it’s contempt and mendacity.

            It’s a lie. That the wealthy are wealthy in order to give the poor a leg up, that that’s the function of people who become wealthy on the backs of the labour of the poor – charity – when that has ever, ever been the case. People buy it though. It’s Downton Abbey, where the servants lived basically as serfs tied to the estate, fawningly grateful when their idle Lord deigned to give them a Saturday off or by dint of charity in lieu of a public health system prevented them going blind.

            Wealth creators are the people who earn their money from labour, adding value to things, experiences, and spend their disposable income in shops, circulating that money.
            That that fact is considered hard-left or whatever is the victory of a very smart, very mendacious elite who’ve lied to us for generations – ascribing stupidity or naivety to them is a mistake.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            “It’s a lie…..People buy it though…..That that fact is considered hard-left or whatever is the victory of a very smart, very mendacious elite who’ve lied to us for generations – ascribing stupidity or naivety to them is a mistake.”

            I dunno. I think we’re getting into illuminati territory here. Wealthy and/or ascendancy types are often very dimwitted. They’re isolated from the Real World. Again, I must reference David Cameron complaining to a county council about them cutting services to pensioners when it was his own cuts to county councils which made them necessary. That old saying about it being who you know and not what you know is so very true. Really. You don’t need to be particularly bright to have a position of influence or power. I cannot stress that enough.

            Supply side economics and all the beliefs about society that come with it, might have been a lie when it was invented (but I doubt it) as a concept but I think the people who push it genuinely believe in it. There’s no evidence that they don’t. It’s not like new politicians are given a list of secrets when they get to office.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Our politicians aren’t millionaires.

          The more money you have, the easier it is to disconnect from real life and real people, sure but our politicians are not psychopaths (mostly). It’s like that Orwell movie when they’re at the top of the ferris wheel

          Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims?
          Harry: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don’t be melodramatic. [gestures to people far below] Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax – the only way you can save money nowadays.

          It’s not so much that they don’t care about homeless children, it’s that they’re just statistics and are hard to empathise with. I’m pretty sure if you actually presented a politician with an actual homeless family right in front of him, he’d really care about their plight.

          1. Zuppy International

            “I’m pretty sure if you actually presented a politician with an actual homeless family right in front of him, he’d really care about their plight.”

            I doubt it, but he or she would put on an act of caring and then blame “the other shower”.

            If our politicians aren’t millionaires them what the hell have they been doing with all of our money that they pay themselves? Wasting it?

          2. ahjayzis

            They may not be millionaires, but they’re wealthy beyond their actual talents.

            If you’ve come from a rural teacher background, 100k p/a, all you can eat expenses, and most importantly, power and prestige, whether illusory or real, is worth a billion euros.

          3. Clampers Outside!

            I thought you were commenting on ‘rich’ people in that line, not politicians as it came after this “…The top 20% of households now have 70% of the wealth in Ireland.”

          4. Clampers Outside!

            “hard to empathise with”….. is not caring.

            If you cannot empathise with the poor in your own country or neighbourhoods or neighbouring neighbourhoods it is likely, IMO, that the empathy one does have is more for show, like a soicialite at a charity ball. It’s not real empathy, it’s part of the trickle down attitude.

    3. ollie

      ” I can’t see them not caring about homeless children. ” There are over 1,000 children who are homeless, do you honestly think that this government gives a poo about them?

      1. ahjayzis

        It’s not that that they don’t care about them – they don’t feel responsible for them.

        Some people look at a homeless kid and think ‘we must do something to fix this’.

        But the other mindset looks at a homeless kid they way you’d look at the victim of an avalanche or a tsunami. Tragic, but the market has spoken, the market has mandated that person be homeless, it’s a cruel twist of fate by the marke, but one we cannot do anything about because in order to have a winner, one must also have a loser, in life.

        1. ollie

          “Some people look at a homeless kid and think ‘we must do something to fix this’. ”
          And Fine Gael looks at a homeless kid and says How can I benefit my political career with this? Should I announce a solution now or close to election time? Should I fix it, or promise to fix it if I’m re-elected?

          And by the way the market hasn’t mandated that someone be homeless, government policy of privatisation has resulted in responsibility for the provision of housing being moved to the private sector. Same with refuse collection (which is about to cost at least twice what it was last year), roads, healthcare, even the provision of graveyards has been become the responsibility of the private sector.

    4. Rowsdower

      They probably think they deserve it.

      Enda Kenny must look at what he’s accomplished; holding the most important office in the land on the back of limited intelligence, no charisma or charm and a party made up of half-wits and con men, and think “Jesus, its so easy, if they’re homeless, its because they deserve to be! Look how much ive made with so little.”

      1. nellyb

        He was elected by majority. Essentially we are embarrassed with ourselves. 2,2 mln voted in 2011, 800K voted FG. One in three.

    5. Mick

      “I agree with the overall sentiment of the piece but this line implies malice or at best, indifference. They’re entitled, arrogant gobsheens but I can’t see them not caring about homeless children.”

      Massive reductions in eligibility for rent supplement has directly affected homelessness. For instance in waterford, a family of 3 cannot receive rent allowance if the rent is over 550€, find a home in waterford that rent amount. It’s impossible. The decision was made knowing the problems it would cause, so yes they don’t care about homeless children, it’s policy!

  4. Steve

    Lies , damned lies and statistics.

    Here’s how Eurostat measures material deprivation. If you have a combo of 3 o the 9 you are classified materially deprived.

    I’m not saying that things are easy out there or there ain’t families struggling but if you can’t buy a mobile phone (and presumably fund it’s bills), buy a week away with falcon travel or buy a car you are classified as materially deprived by Eurostat.


    The emigration statistics can always be met with the simple charge – how many were of choice??

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      The holiday might be a bit much but what’s wrong with the rest of the list? Do you think indoor toilets are a luxury as well?

      1. han solo's carbonite dream

        was only going to say – have you seen the cost of a family holiday abroad (package)
        2 weeks is about 3k then with spend you looking at 4.5k

        I’m considered well off by vritue of job and salary and I havent a chance of doing that year in , year out.
        not that ballymum in the sun is my cup of tea but I couldn’t even if I wasn’t a snob.

        1. mary

          It doesn’t say it has to be a foreign holiday – it just says ‘to go on holiday’. That could be three days in a friend’s caravan in Wexford…

    2. ollie

      What’s your point Steve? Decisions taken by FF/FG/Lab haven’t impacted on quality of life?
      Do you know anyone living in emergency accommodation? Does Daddy drive you to piano lessons on Saturday morning

      1. Steve

        Never implied that government decisions during 2009-2014 reducing take home spend did not reduce quality of life. Only a fool would argue that. Ollie, you as usual, resorting to personal insults shows you to be just that.

        I was only trying to show that statistics need background understanding before making assumptions. My simple suggestion was that if a family ticked the boxes for no new mobile phone, no foreign holiday or no new car they would be considered materially deprived. With a couple of weddings this and last year I would be defo ticking those boxes.

        I’d like to read up on the definition of “facing unexpected expenses”…is that 50 euro or 500 euro etc etc.

        Actually yeah me dad used to bring me to guitar lessons, I really enjoyed playing the guitar.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          You didn’t answer the question earlier, apart from the holiday, what issues do you have with the rest of the list? Freezers and indoor toilets were considered luxuries at one point.

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          I mean, would you tell someone who has an indoor toilet and a freezer that they’re not really that poor?

          1. Steve

            Yeah moyest I defo take your point…don’t know where indoor toilet is mentioned in the list of 9 but yes if you can’t keep your house warm, eat meat regularly or pay your bills then yes defo you are materially deprived….and by extension, assuming rational choice (i.e someone doesn’t feed their children chicken but yet buys them an iphone6) they wouldn’t be able to afford a new car , foreign holiday etc.

            I’m just interested to see what level of our materially deprived are singularly included in categories which I would consider, “nice to have”…i.e a week away in the algarve etc.

            That was my only point, I should have spelt it out further.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “don’t know where indoor toilet is mentioned in the list of 9”

            It’s not. You are trying to devalue the OP by claiming people really aren’t that poor if a lack of mobile phone ownership is an indicator of poverty, I assume because you view it as a luxury. I’m saying that indoor plumbing was once a luxury as well but you’re not going to tell people they’re not that poor if they have a toilet in their house.

            “I’m just interested to see what level of our materially deprived are singularly included in categories which I would consider, “nice to have”…i.e a week away in the algarve etc.”

            I’ll give you the holiday but what’s wrong with the rest of the list? If you don’t have a phone and/or a computer, it’s pretty difficult for prospective employers to get in contact, for instance.

        3. Nigel

          A mobile phone is damn near a necessity these days. particularly if you are trying to find work and/or accommodation.

          1. Steve

            Ah yes the auld luxuries of today are the essentials of tomorrow conundrum.

            Ye can’t compare a mobile phone to an indoor toilet. One facilitates human communication while the other allows effective human sanitation and limits to spread of disease and death. Applies and oranges IMO.

            A new car was considered a luxury in the 1960s. IMO it still is now.

            A foreign holiday was consisted a luxury in the 1960. It defo still is now.

            A phone was considered a luxury in the 1960s. Rory’s article above focuses on children deprivation rates. A phone for a kid is defo a luxury now. A new mobile phone for adults is IMO a luxury….as I write this comment off a 4s

            I guess the tone of Rory’s argument was trying to produce outrage at apparent child poverty levels. You ask joe bloggs on the street what they consider deprivation to be , they will probably imply that you can’t feed, warm or wash yourself in proper accommodation.
            My point was that Eurostat swings the net wider than that and such considerations should be taken into account before announcing that 105000 irish children are in deprivation.

            I’ll leave it at that.

          2. Nigel

            There are so many things you can’t compare to an indoor toilet. Education, for example. You can’t eat it or use it to flush away human waste or eat it or wash yourself with it. Such a luxury in the days of the Black Death, but oh my how times change! Transport? Well, you could wipe yourself with a bus ticket, I suppose, so there’s that, but how does having difficulty getting form one place to another possibly be keeping anyone in poverty? In the Stone Age you hardly left your cave and if you did you;d get eaten by a mastodon and count yourself lucky. Ask Joe Bloggs if he wants to get eaten by a mastodon and you know what he’ll tell you! He’ll tell you being poor in a relatively rich country might look different than being poor in a poor one but well-off scrotes telling them to count themselves lucky never change.

  5. inPisces


    Why are there no more jobs for the poor?

    Answer: because the liberal hipster losers shop online, frequent social media and Netflix rather than go to the pub and local shops spending whatever meagre pittance they now have after tax.

    PS the third level sector is completely bloated

      1. cluster

        What does ‘over-priced’ mean?

        Certainly, local shops are overpriced compared to huge supermarkets & online stores.

        They have a small, physical presence, no economies of scale, pay local rates & coroporation taxes, they likely pay their workers slightly better, etc.

  6. Declan

    I agree with the sentiment but can we expand out the blame (and the benefits too).

    For the blame he mentions those in power (bondholders, bankers, etc) but no one mentions pensioners, teachers, doctors and nurses (yes they did take a pay cut be explain that to someone with out a job). A lot of people were protected to one degree or another and the simple fact is that young people don’t tend to vote. Those who got protected were the voters.

    It’s also far too easy to say “The Troika” did this when our grand parents and parents benefited from rising benefits and lowering taxes, followed by protected pensions (and if they sold in time) locked in capital. I benefited form the boom when I was able to get jobs during college.

    In the recession I spent two years on the dole on ~€185 a week looking for jobs and doing work placements. It was two wasted years and I look around at my friends we’re all still dealing with it either through stunted careers or trying to catch up on our own lives. We’re lucky as none of us had mortgages or property but that kind of stuff is far out of our reach at the moment.

    I’m an optimist by nature so I think tomorrow is going to be better. I’m glad the Social Democrats have been set up and people seem to be thinking about their actions. I only worry about the f#*ked up vision of FF, FG, SF and the PBP all voting to lower the LPT here in Dublin. Something worrying about three right wing parties : ) and one left wing one all voting to lower taxes when our city faces a homeless crisis and countless other problems. It’s a sign of things to come

    1. cluster

      ‘all voting to lower the LPT’

      tbf – Dubliners pay far more in LPT than anyone outside of Dublin, merely because land values are higher. Not because, they have a higher income or a higher standard of living.

  7. General Waste

    This article and responses have reminded me why I stopped reading Broadsheet.

    When the great unwashed fail to vote for Rory’s hard left policies in the form of AAA-PBP it will be blamed on some Chomskian notion of manufactured consent.

    According to Rory et al’s take we are not actually allowed to feel the recovery in our wallets and pay packets even when it’s very real.

    This delusion on the part of the hard left (see also Corbynism) will result in a well-deserved tanking at the polls. It was ever thus for the deluded hard left.

    1. Nigel

      Yes, let’s keep listening to all the people who were listened to in the boom and keep ignoring all the voices that were ignored. That worked out well.

      1. Declan

        Definitely, let’s try and get a broader base but realise that when you want to listen to other people, this means compromise across political and social views. Democracy baby !!!!!

    2. ahjayzis

      “According to Rory et al’s take we are not actually allowed to feel the recovery in our wallets and pay packets even when it’s very real.”

      No one, not even Rory, is disputing that things are getting better …. for some people.

      What he’s arguing is that we’re cognisant that as some people are doing better, many people are doing, far, far worse. Living five to a room in a hotel for instance.

      Are we not allowed to ask ‘recovery at what cost?’ without being labelled perpetually moaning Trots? Worry that our housing market is as much of a speculative investment zone as it ever was? That housing standards have once again taken a back-seat to the developer’s profit margin? That bailed out public assets are being flogged at firesale prices? That developers who built actual deathtraps are back in business with no system of getting them struck off as with a medic that endangers lives? That house prices are climbing back to their boom peak? Worry that many parties are making election commitments comparable to 2007? That should another shock come we’ve exhausted all our backup resources and credit lines while our tax base is regressing fast to either the prior lower base, or resting on taxes that take zero account of earnings in a new departure of regressiveness?

      How much money extra do you have to earn a month as an individual before you must shut your mouth and pretend either everything’s fine or that there is literally no other, better way to govern the country than returning it wholesale to where it was in 2005 without being called a lefty crackpot?

      And last I heard, the IMF and the Fiscal Advisory Council and the European Commission aren’t exactly PBP/AAA heads and they’re voicing the same concerns.

  8. Tish Mahorey

    Young Fine Gaelers were run out of our estate last week. Little soft handed weasels in suits were frog marched up the road and out onto the main road and warned not to come back again.

    The sneering little troupe couldn’t believe how their every argument was countered by a well informed community.

    Their young are even more divisive and vindictive than main Fine Gael.

        1. Neilo

          Better docile, benign and polite than a nasty piece of goods. I’m uncertain which is the more odious: fabrications about canvassing or a signal lack of good manners.

  9. Neilo

    Your’e a weasel or a frog: you can’t be both. Frogs will get run over on the main road but weasels are cannier.

  10. Andy

    It’s all the rich people’s fault or the government or neoliberalism or is it the church or globalisation or Apple & Google or blah blah blah.

    Why is there so much child poverty? Simple answer – A massive increase in lone parent families.

    As a % of total households Ireland has more lone parent households than all other EU countries.
    In 2011 18% of families were lone parents compared with only 7.1% in 1981.
    What changed you might ask? Well in 1990 the govt introduced the Lone Parent Allowance. Successive governments then increased child benefit almost on a budget by budget frequency.

    Now would it be un PC of me to point out that it is lone mothers who drove this huge increase? Maybe it would but that is in fact the case.

    In 1981 1.4% of all families were lone parent families headed by a Father. That increased by 1.1% to 2.5% in 2011.
    In 1981 5.7% of all families were lone parent families headed by a Mother. That increased by 10.1% to 15.8% in 2011.
    In 1981 5.2% of all Irish children were in lone parent families. In the 2011 census 22% (351,996) of all children were in lone parent families.
    In 2011 the average # of children per lone parent family was 1.7 compared to 1.4 for total families.
    Only 20% of lone mothers are widowed.

    So, what do we know about lone parent families and poverty/social issues?
    – 52.3% of Irish lone parent households are Very Low Work Intensity (2nd worst only to Malta) –
    – The CSO household survey notes 52% of lone parents are engaged in employment compared with 74% for dual parent households. The EU average employment rate for lone parent families is 68-70%.
    – 58.1 per cent of women without children having third level education, compared with 37.9 per cent of those who had children
    – 32% of all At Risk of Poverty households are comprised of lone parents. This is the largest constituent of At Risk of Poverty households in Ireland. Dual parent households only account for 12.8% of the At Risk of Poverty households. Education levels of At Risk of Poverty groups is another problem – only 14.3% have anything above the leaving cert with only 6% of them having an actual degree.

    But yeah, tis all the govts fault. No personal responsibility at all involved!

    In summary, 5% of kids in 1981 were in lone parent families, that’s now 22%.

      1. rotide

        Yes, Anyone who provides more facts and analysis in one post than your entire career should be ignored.

      1. Andy

        Adding multiple links means my post won’t be published – as has happened many times when I’ve posted on Anne Marie McNally’s articles. It sits “pending moderator approval”……….

        All recent data taken from the CSO Census 2011, the QNHS while EU Comparison’s taken from Eurostat websites. The 1981 data was taken from a CSO paper below

    1. Cathy

      Yea we really need to Repeal the 8th.

      Can you explain what you mean by the Father as the head of the household?

  11. We Don't Normally Do This

    He might be right, he might be wring, he’s definitely left. Look up Rory Hearne for yourself.

  12. some old queen

    I heard bits and pieces of the Martin FF speech at the weekend. Lots of peppered type references to society rather than economy etc. They are least pretending to move to the left and if there is one thing about FF, they don’t move to where there is no votes. That doesn’t mean the actual Left of course, just left of FG.

    People aren’t stupid. They know when they are being sold a pup but they don’t have faith in the main opposition parties either. But, there is something about the way this government is going about things which is very mean and callous. There have been serious causalities of the austerity cuts which they do not appear to want to address. A health service at breaking point and people dying on the streets are just the most visible.

    Take your pick?

    “There is no such thing as society” Margret Thatcher
    “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” Mahatma Ghandi

      1. some old queen

        Tax cuts appeal to the mé féin in all of us but in the longer term it doesn’t really improve anything. People have suffered badly because of the austerity cuts and now they are being ignored because they are a political inconvenience.

        Which is worst, politicians who cheer leaded the crash and burn then bailed out the criminality of banks or, those who imposed the unnecessary austerity and are now denying the hardship it caused in favour of tax cut bribes? Neither is good governance.

  13. Neilo

    Need to make sure the Blessed Margaret’s remarks are reprinted in full:

    There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

    1. some old queen

      Arguing that the sick and elderly in society should be cared for makes me a wing nut? I am a democrat who believes in social justice. It may be hard for your brain to grasp such concepts but try. In the mean time, refrain from juvenile name calling.

  14. Steglitz

    Does Rory Ahearne really have a doctorate? Really.? Do we really need any more crap from the university of Maynooth socialist eutopia bible- at least he got a job with Tascnet- the purveyor of “socially progressive” QUALITATIVE research. Work Hard- Get a job.!! Get on with it. Its what young people all over Ireland are doing.. They dont give a feck about “water protesters” – get yourself into the 21st century. Young people are more interested in the Kardashians. Sorry i know thats a blow.. Work hard, get a job, get on.. That’s progressive equality.. If there is any failure if equality in Irish society its in the failure to provide educational opportunties to disadavantaged communities if you want to work.. If you want to sit on welfare, attend water protests and drink cans with Child benefit..thats your choice.. Dont excpect someone else to pick up the tab.. iTS actually not Funny because its fuckin true.!! Not in Dr Rorys world anyway..

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