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Policy issues concerning Economy

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has published a study in which it recommends that the way to raise Ireland's employment so as to avoid the persistence of the current high unemployment rate is to reduce unemployment payments over time. It believes this should be supported by stricter job search requirements, additonal resources for FAS (to assist these job searches) and a reduction in the minimum wage.

Social Justice Ireland has claimed that Government’s proposals to adjust Ireland’s budget in the next four years is unjust and unfair. Government is proposing to achieve adjustments of €15bn by 2014 through taking €10bn in cuts and only €5bn in tax increases.  Ireland’s total tax-take is one of the lowest in the European Union. It is possible to raise Ireland’s total tax-take by €10bn and still remain a low-tax country.

Social Justice Ireland has challenged the current efforts by many vested interests to protect the corporate sector while allowing the weak, the vulnerable, the ill and the working poor take the hit for the reckless actions of greedy bankers, incompetent regulators and an inept government.

An overview of the borrowing  needs of fifteen major developed-country governments in 2011 shows that Ireland is the country in the middle in borrowing needs when measured as a percentage of GDP. According to the International Monetary Fund  (IMF) Japan, USA, Greece, Belgium Italy, France and Portugal all require a higher percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to finance their budgets in 2011. All require more than 20 per cent of GDP.

Irish public opinion continues to increase its support for  stronger EU economic governance, Along with the Finns, Ireland showed a 13% rise in those who want stronger European measures and coordination to combat the economic crisis, with a total of 77% in favour.

László Andor, the European commissioner for employment and social affairs, has raised concerns that the austerity programmes being developed by national governments to address the present crisis will lead to deeper recession rather than recovery in Europe. 

It isn't often that we cite the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as vindicating our position but information revealed by the Department of Finance in response to a freedom of information request does exactly that.