The roots of the current economic crisis lie in a set of policy decisions taken in the late 1990s. It is important that this fact be recognised and acknowledged before decisions are made on the second Budget for 2009. Otherwise the decisions made may serve to worsen the situation rather than provide a pathway towards a solution.
Over the past half century Ireland embraced the whole process of liberal globalisation with enthusiasm. It built on the policy of free trade from the 1960s onwards. Its imports and exports as a percentage of GDP are among the highest in the world.