But it’s not the only reason. As one of the economies that is most globalised, Ireland is more vulnerable to international economic changes. The credit crunch is squeezing our banks, Banks are lending more than they’re bringing in, lenders find it more difficult to get mortgages, buyers hold back waiting for prices to fall further, Builders cannot borrow to open up their burgeoning landbanks. That’s just what’s happening in housing, Confidence in an economy built solely on a building boom has evaporated. Retail spending has collapsed, Multiples are closing their branches and retail development has stagnated. During the summer the Irish Stock Market index performed better than only the Vietnamese Stock Market.
Our over reliance on oil makes us susceptible to fluctuations in prices, food is rising in price, while the Euro is overpriced in relation to the dollar and Sterling. Our economy is split equally between the UK, US and EU.
That’s also why Labour has called for a retraining programme for those who’ve lost their jobs, investment in education and infrastructure such as schools, broadband and transport. This type of investment will leave the economy better placed to capitalise when recovery comes. Its time the government built something that people wanted not investors want. I hope for all our sakes that Cowen, Coughlan & Co are all up to the job but at the back of my head I have that sinking feeling that the Slump Coalition won in '07.