Unfockingbeleiveable. He now comes out with a classic that the Irish government will have to slash spending. This is the same champagne Charlie that was increasing public spending by in excess of 20% per year in the 2 years in the run up to the 2002 election. The same guy who dreamt up Benchmarking, Decentralisation and the Punchestown racecourse refurb. And also the same who displayed his total lack of competence in running an economy in staying ‘that we spend money when we have it and don’t spend it when we don’t’.
And we want to retain the right to appoint a commissioner why???
Not surprising at all. Mr McCreevy has always been pro-cyclical. He’s an account … “If I have it I’ll spend it, if I don’t I won’t borrow”. He’s not and economist.
Benchmarking was Bertie’s baby. Decentralisation, on the face of it, was a good idea, unfortunately, the socialists/unions/vi’s in the public service won’t go where their job went.
Remember, that post the 2000 (or was it 2001) budget which was severely criticised by the EU for being pro-inflationary with it’s tax cuts, the then Minister McCreevy introduced the SSIA as a vehicle to take cash out of the economy, rather than roll back the tax cuts (now whatever your opinion of the SSIA’s it was a unique, if short term solution to the problem, mind you, if they’d made it 7 or 8 years rather than 5 that might have changed the game a little right now … ).
Anyway, Charlie is playing the same game he always played.
Decentralisation was a rubbish Idea
pork barrell property purchases for local ff cronies.
Civil servants have wives in jobs and children in schools. we need mobility between departments.
For a country as small as ours to attempt it would be NUTS AT THE BEST OF TIMES but at the height of a property boom it was CRIMINALLY insane.
At the time I thought that the boom would last another 2-3 years and the SSIA cash would be a welcome windfall in a recession. Who knew the madness would last as long as it did?
If we didn’t have a government throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the boom trying to keep it going then it might have worked out that way. Instead we had (and still have) Section 23, A Taoiseach making light of suicide to try and reassue the masses that the boom would keep getting boomier, and anyone who said different was a liar or a moron, and teams of economists and EA’s ready to say that in their “expert” opinion there always was never a better time to buy.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
i thought shane ross had fiinally seen the light but look at this tripe about mccreevy
as alluded to above mr mccreevy played a key part in this mess extending property tax breaks, cutting cgt rates, helping out his horsey set in Kildare
He summed up best himself when he said
fintan with the lowdown on our new saviour
the IT seems to be lifting itself up from the gutter
Good cogent piece by O’Toole - the McCreevy’ites out there however would be unlikely to be swayed by mere statements of fact…that’s not the McCreevy way after all.
Personally I’ve always thought the man to be an oafish inarticulate gobshite. Of course, like all successful Irish gombeen politicians, he’s seen as the bloody messiah by many here in his North Kildare constituency, and of course there is also huge pride that “their Charlie” is now a big wig in Europe (even though most couldn’t tell you anything about his commissioner portfolio or what it is he’s supposed to be in charge of).
To have it as a prize to hand out to functionaries/politicos, or to use it as a comfortable siberian exile for politicians that party leadership wants to sideline but cannot simply keep on back-bench.
Don’t forget SSIAs - the craziest give away scheme in the history of the State. That was 100% McCreevy.
They obviously recognise that, oafish and inarticulate as he undoubtedly is, he has skills and abilities superior to their own faculties. Clearly in his home environment, he must be a veritable Übermensch among the local pygmies. But rather than cower in terror, the locals can love him in their simple way because they can see that he is so humble that he can still retain the common touch, press the flesh at the racecourse, and GAA games.
They voted for him (repeatedly). They defend him, flying in the face of reality and sense.
I judge them for it.
(s/McCreevy/Lowry/ … same story, and many others (Bertie foremost))
McCreevy visited one on the futures trading firms in Dublin while minster for finance (think an exchange launched a gateway or something) - they gave him a go on a trading simulator for the craic and were explaing how you click on the left to buy a future and on the right to sell. His response was:
“but how can I sell if I don’t own it?”
Accountants quite simply don’t understand economics. When they think they do and when they’re put in positions of power, like McCreevy, they become dangerous. I remember around the time it was announced he was going to Brussels, the Institute of Chartered Accountantspolled their members as to the best Irish Minsister for Finance of all time - McCreevy won by a landslide, with Ray McSharry a distant second. I shit you not.
Someone mentioned the SSIA scheme - his decision to slash CGT in half at the start of the bubble ('97/'98) was another howler. Plus all the crazy urban renewal schemes - McCreevey for the most part wasn’t the instigator of these but he did little or nothing to curtail them.
To be fair, he was one of the very few within FF to stand up to Haughey’s blackguarding and b.s. In an era when to do such could have got you - quite literally - a hiding, or at the very least your phone tapped.
+1 to all of that (including the last paragraph, though I still dislike the man)
Accountants generally don’t even understand finance (in the sense of true investment appraisal, risk, etc.,), let alone economics. However, in companies that are light on financial expertise, accountants can pretty much run riot, safe in their ignorance (but dangerous to the firm).