Thursday, September 9, 2010

The local economy - relying on We Ourselves rather than the Government.

The underwhelming approach of the Government continues to damage sth Ireland terribly. Brian Cowen may believe the spiking of the interest rate on 10-year Irish bonds to over 6% - Greek style rates was a blip. Its not. Its how lenders view our long term ability to repay debt and a vote of no-confidence in the Govt. handling of the crisis. Commentators from every quarter are now bemoaning the economic failures of the Dept. of Finance who are changing the plans again for Anglo Irish. We wont even know the full cost of the Anglo Irish bank crisis until next month. A never ending evasion of responsibility,  especially to Leinster house and tax payers as noted by Arthur Morgan. Brian Lenihan said the high yield rates were a result of our transparent policies. The tax payers never sees those transparent policies. 
So what does all this mean in real terms. By 2013 for every 4 euros to spend on the economy 1 euro will be spent on interest payments abroad 
For those of us still working one day a week will be worked not for the benefit of the Irish economy but to pay for the Developers and Fianna Fail's gambling.
As has been noted in many places we will need to raise our levels of production. We need to get people off the dole ques and into jobs. The scale of the task is huge  - hundreds of thousand of jobs lost must be replaced.
How are we going to do this? Well there are job creation strategies put forward but not implemented by Fianna Fail and additionally there are good ideas on helping young entrepreneurs strategies bring jobs back into local communities.
Look at Munster Rugby who now gets all its juice shakes from a small local company in Limerick. A small company employing 6-7 people set up by a man who gained experience with multi-nationals and used that experience to create jobs in rural Ireland. Jobs that dont depend on decisions made in America or wont relocate at the drop of a hat.
Instead there has been a Govt. led over-reliance on the promise of multi-nationals, to the neglect of more balanced development of the economy, and the high value knowledge economy. The problem with this is jobs from medical devices, financial services, digital media etc will be overwhelmingly urban based and likely to cluster around the largest towns and cities. Large swathes of the countryside will remain in economic decline.
Boosting the rate of young entrepreneurship will be a valuable way of getting jobs into small towns, the country side and housing estates which may be left behind. It will help to stem the decline of rural Ireland and revitalise urban Ireland.
Back in 1995 an academic from Galway University published a paper called "Desertification: Measuring population decline in rural Ireland". My own local region was one of those communities marked for a slow painful death  - we were just far enough away from the major urban centers to be isolated rather than included.  
The Celtic Tiger didnt solve the problems of rural decline and economic imbalances - it papered over them. The Celtic Tiger didnt end poverty in Ireland - it simply ignored it. Witness the recent report on poverty by the ESRI:16% in 2007 - before the bubble burst. A fifth of young children at risk of falling below the breadline with 7pc of them in consistent poverty.

Even harder for  lone parents - "In 2004, children in lone parent families accounted for 53pc of children in consistent poverty, while in 2007, 65pc of children in consistent poverty were in such families". But lone parents in the south are excluded from the economic life of the stated by an Irish childcare system thats not fit for purpose despite a decade to make it so.

How many skilled young people will emigrate and create good jobs in other countries. How many would stay here and create those jobs in rural and urban Ireland if given the support and opportunity to create new businesses - the type of support laid out by Sinn Fein. Businesses which would save local communities from dying, and help the most marginalised in Irish society share in any future economic growth.
Fianna Fail should view the emigration of every Irish worker not as one less dole payment but six less jobs.
Fianna Fail's mindset is the mindset of the past. In order to save our communities the electorate must consign them to them past.

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