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The announcement by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) that  Ireland is in recession confirms Social Justice Ireland's claims in its recently published Policy Briefing on Budget Choices 2014 that the growth forecasts most recently set out by the Department of Finance are not credible

Austerity is not just bad for the economy. The latest evidence shows that it is also bad for people’s health. 

Public service pay is only one of a range of areas that need to be addressed in a coherent and integrated manner if the common good is to guide decisions on Ireland’s future.  Issues such as taxation, debt, investment and competitiveness, public services and public expenditure levels and public sector reform should all be addressed in an integrated manner that maximises fairness and solidarity.

A new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) raises very serious questions concerning the approach to recovery being followed by the ‘troika’ in EU countries including Ireland. The CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot claims this study shows that “… the IMF appears to be pursuing a political and ideological agenda in Europe, with a very strong prejudice toward spending cuts and smaller government,”

The outcome of current negotiations on public service pay or on debt should not produce a situation where other sectors in Irish society will be further disadvantaged.

In the latest edition of its publication ‘Quarterly Economic Observer’, NERI (the Nevin Economic Research Institute) focuses on the specific details of an alternative budgetary strategy in the Republic of Ireland for the year 2013. The crisis in unemployment continues as the level of real domestic demand stays constant or is in decline. There is evidence of rising income inequality and consistent poverty.

The latest figures published by the CSO paint a grim picture in terms of employment and growth in Ireland.  There has been an annual decrease in employment by 33,400 since Q2 2011 and a 1.3% increase in unemployment over the same period.