The State of the Irish Economy

The Irish economy is in a mess. It has been in a mess for about 10 years now but the s**t really hit the fan last Wednesday 17th November 2010 when representatives of the International Monetary Fund landed in Dublin.

In some ways my blood is boiling because of the way that the Government ie. Fianna Fail and by analogy the Greens have treated the people of this country. I am no great lover of Fianna Fail and I am no great lover of people who think that they have all the answers, that they know it all and that as long as they are alright then feck the rest of you!

The reason I am annoyed is because ordinary families like myself and my husband are having to pay for the gross excesses of the past 10 years. I witnessed first hand peoples greed and the amount of risk they were prepared to take in search of a quick buck when I was a Solicitor and some people were buying houses right left and centre. We bought our first house in December 2000 and at the time the mortgage conditions were quite strict – I think it was 2.5 x salary and 1.5 times the second salary.

By 2007 when house prices had risen considerably the edges were prepared to lend people up to eight times salary. How on earth were people going to pay this back? We were fortunate in that we decided to sell our first house in the summer of 2007 and we got a buyer reasonably quickly. It was only after we secured a buyer that we decided to committ to buying another house. The main reason that we decided to move at that time was that our daughter was 3 years old and we wanted to move to an area where she would be able to attend a country school. We were very lucky in that we also decided to get a tracker mortgage from Halifax and this has saved our bacon over the last 2 years. I do realised that some families are now in dire straits where the mother or father have lost their job.

My husband is a public sector worker has taken several cuts to his salary since September 2008. Of course we are not best pleased about this but we accept it as part of the measures necessary to try and get this country back on its feet.

I did not agree with the formation of NAMA for the simple reason that I believe it is open to corruption. Once again I have seen how two different valuers will put a different price on one residential character. What scope is there for error in relation to commercial character.

My final point is that politics in this country is tied up in cronyism. Three meaningful members of the Cabinet, Brian Cowen, Brian Lenihan and Mary Coughlan were preceded in politics by their fathers. Appointment to political life is not based upon merit and I really take exception to the performance of Brian Cowen when interviewed by the RTE News. He is belligerent, defensive and quite frankly rude. The people of Ireland deserve better.

So whilst I was shocked at the speed with which the International Monetary Fund arrived in the country this week on the whole I welcome their presence because somebody needs to sort out the mess that is the Irish economy.

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