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 The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?

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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:28 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
I believe that if we encourage a mix of wind, wave and solar power, we can meet well over half of our energy requirements in this country. Add our own natural gas supplies and a residual contribution from turf, we can bring our energy imports from 90 down to 20% of our total consumption. This would cut a few percentage points off our current account deficit and add several percentage points to economic growth.

Oh yeah just on that, do you happen to know if the amounts we spend on fuel etc. are recorded somewhere? And the amount of oil etc. we import - is this on the balance sheet of the national accounts or anything?
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:31 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
I believe that if we encourage a mix of wind, wave and solar power, we can meet well over half of our energy requirements in this country. Add our own natural gas supplies and a residual contribution from turf, we can bring our energy imports from 90 down to 20% of our total consumption. This would cut a few percentage points off our current account deficit and add several percentage points to economic growth.

Oh yeah just on that, do you happen to know if the amounts we spend on fuel etc. are recorded somewhere? And the amount of oil etc. we import - is this on the balance sheet of the national accounts or anything?

Yes, it's accounted for in the External Trade data. It'd be marked under Coal, coke & briquettes; Petroleum, petroleum products & related materials, Gas, natural & manufactured and Electric Current.

The overall heading is Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:16 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Hm. We had a chat about this once before. I looked stuff up and found that a healthy balanced diet is beyond the means of most people on low incomes here. The only way to stay alive is to eat cheap carbs.
I recall it vaguely though I wouldn't agree with you though I think you found a study ..

Is it really not possible to get a balanced diet in this country when you are on a low income though? Isn't food cheap enough and an apple a day and isn't meat cheap?

No-one agreed with me or my study I found Sad

It really is not possible to eat proper food without enough money, a lot of people in Ireland are below the poverty line, and then they are so stressed they really can't help smoking.

I would have thought there would be unanimous agreement with you there cactus. It is much cheaper to live on processed food than on fesh veg and meat. Bad diet and obesity is a primarily a problem for low earners. That is my shopping experience of the last 10 years in any event. Maybe it is different if you are a vegetarian.

As some vegetarian dude (as P. Hilton might call him) said about "rabbit food" you don't see rabbits with big bellies having lost sexual attractiveness and all interest in the opposite sex after middle age.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:20 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
I believe that if we encourage a mix of wind, wave and solar power, we can meet well over half of our energy requirements in this country. Add our own natural gas supplies and a residual contribution from turf, we can bring our energy imports from 90 down to 20% of our total consumption. This would cut a few percentage points off our current account deficit and add several percentage points to economic growth.

I hope you are right. When I said wind was limited to 20% of the grid max, I probably should have said "using current technology". We will have to hope that technology advances fast......There is also an issue with transport... if we can get Dublin's public into electrified trains/trams for their commuting over the next 10 years, that would help also.

The problem is, while I'd see this whole fossil fuel independence thing as being a great opportunity for investors, the twin evils of bad debts and soaring oil prices (the credit crunch) is going to mean that there is less money TO invest in these areas, whether by the Government or by the private sector. If the Govt end up having to bail out one of the big banks, we are so screwed.

Is there any oil exploration going on offshore here at the mo'???
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:35 pm

expat girl wrote:
Is there any oil exploration going on offshore here at the mo'???
Isn't there some prospecting going on off County Clare in the Porcupine Basin? There's a bit of unease about the licensing and terms surrounding these projects - the general feeling (for those who have any feelings about it) is that we get little of the oil anyway... Also isn't Tony O'Reilly getting some results down off Wexford?

I'll add a few links here
http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1014436.shtml


http://www.islandoilandgas.com/default.asp?docId=12428
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:26 pm

Wolf Forum - How to shore up America’s crumbling housing market

Interesting forum on the FT. Good idea in the latest one about reducing how much people are exposed to negative equity. It might not apply in Ireland to ECB tracker rates and the fact that hoam loans in Ireland are not non-recourse afaik.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:30 pm

Link to 2007 NCC Report

I came across this annual report ACR 2007 by the National Competitiveness Council on the Irish economy - full of nice clear graphs and worth a quick browse.

The NCC, notwithstanding the handy report, seems to be another quango. It this not work that should be done by the Department of Finance?
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:37 pm

http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1014545.shtml

Glanbia profits up 30% - food and in particular dairy is doing well as we predicted. Yet I was talking to a Cork dairy farmer yesterday who had nothing but tales of woe. Crying or Very sad Also, food processing jobs are going by the hundreds, I think with mechanisation rather than reduced production.

I wonder how many farmers held on to their shares in the co-ops ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:58 pm

Yes please to high speed broadband: we should prioritise this over road development:

Quote :
Shannon Development Chief Executive, Kevin Thompstone, has called for the urgent rollout of a €4 billion high-speed broadband telecommunications infrastructure, across Ireland.

Speaking at the announcement of the Company’s 2007 end of year results on Tuesday, Thompstone said, “To be truly competitive in the knowledge economy, Ireland urgently needs to have ultra high speed broadband available in every part of the country. Clients from major international corporations will not wait a few years for the private sector to provide what is a vital piece of public communications infrastructure, they will simply vote with their feet and invest elsewhere.”

“While economic growth in Ireland is still high, in comparison to many of our European counterparts, we need to ensure that we are battle fit to meet the growing pressures of globalisation. One initiative which offers Ireland an opportunity to both catch up with and leap ahead of other parts of the world in relation to pervasive broadband access is the development of a national Next Generation Network (NGN). One of the key elements of NGN is that broadband is delivered not just to a town via a fibre ring but direct to enterprise and the home by means of fibre to the door.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:17 pm

I've just come across this interesting powerpoint called "Beyond the Tiger" on the future opportunities for the Irish Economy, put together by Michael Best a visiting professor at Galway University. I wonder if he would drop in and talk us through it?

http://www.ictu.ie/download/ppt/prof_michael_best_univ_of_mass..ppt
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:32 am

From the "Building Ireland's Smart Economy" document released this week. Action Area 1 - is there meat there or is it vague or is it "waffly" or is it vague waffle?
http://193.178.1.117/attached_files/Pdf%20files/Building%20Ireland%E2%80%99s%20Smart%20Economy.pdf

Quote :
Meeting the Challenge – Securing the Enterprise Economy and Restoring Competitiveness

Meeting the challenge of securing the economy in what are among the most difficult global economic circumstances since the foundation of the Irish state is an absolute priority for Government. We are implementing a strategy to manage the current short-term difficulties, maximise the rate of pick–up in economic activity, restore competitiveness, stabilise the banking sector, and assist those who lose their jobs during the downturn, while respecting the unavoidable constraints on policy arising from the fiscal and international environment. This strategy to secure Ireland’s Enterprise Economy will provide a strong base from which to pursue the next phase of economic development.
Key actions:

A fiscal support is being applied to pump billions of euro into the economy through unparalleled investments in infrastructure which will make the economy more competitive. This constitutes proportionately the largest capital programme in the EU;

Capital investment allocations will be reviewed to identify scope for re-prioritisation towards more labour-intensive activities;

Significant funding will be made available for a range of housing programmes and insulation schemes (see Action Area 3);

The public finances must be restored to a sustainable position and the Government will engage with the Social Partners to chart a way forward;

The Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes will have a significant role to play by identifying options for expenditure adjustment;

Steps to broaden the tax base will be taken, having due regard to the recommendations of the Commission on Taxation;

The Government’s focus will continue to be on securing a stable and active banking sector which serves the needs of the Irish economy; we will support, alongside existing shareholders and private investors, a recapitalisation programme for credit institutions in Ireland of up to €10 billion;

Our low corporate tax regime has been a central pillar of Ireland’s industrial policy and we will maintain competitive, low corporation tax rates (including the 12.5% rate) and introduce a range of pro-enterprise tax measures to stimulate activity and employment growth;

Activity and employment in the construction sector will benefit from substantial and sustained capital investment under the NDP; in particular the Exchequer will provide €1.66 billion for housing in 2009, we are reforming Stamp Duty applicable to commercial property, and Enterprise Ireland will provide a construction sector export service to assist companies and professionals to market their products and services abroad;

Within the Social Partnership framework, we will seek to ensure wage moderation and flexibility consistent with our competitive position, while also securing industrial peace and stability;

We will publish a whole-of-Government response to recommendations contained in reports of the Competition Authority within nine months of their publication;

We will pursue reforms to reduce legal costs and tackle factors which continue to drive costs and delays arising from the legal system;

We will work to a target of reducing administrative burdens on business by 25% by 2012, beginning with concrete measures in Taxation, Environment, Health and Safety, Statistics, Employment and Company Law and introduce a consolidated inspections programme to reduce the number of inspection visits to business;

The Government will improve co-ordination between Departments and Agencies in order to improve access to job search, training and education, community and employment programmes and will provide a range of opportunities for up-skilling and re-skilling;

Specific actions include increased Job Search Supports capacity; an initiative to target young people who become unemployed; additional places, predominantly in training, for the unemployed; and we will bring forward further measures in this area in early 2009;

Retraining of construction and other workers will be re-focused and enhanced in order to support retrofitting of our housing stock and provide the skills for the green economy;

Initiatives to protect mortgage holders include the Government’s insistence that banks participating in the Guarantee Scheme confirm their compliance with the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) Code of Practice on Mortgage Arrears, support through the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, and careful monitoring of practices in relation to mortgage arrears and a pro-active approach to any further regulatory or other steps required;

A range of measures is included to build on the strengths in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Sectors and exploit the potential of an export-led, natural resources based

Agri-food sector. They include income support and capital investment on farms, environment and animal welfare enhancing schemes, further investment in the food processing sector, supporting innovation, marketing and research and development throughout the sectors and continued support for sustainable forestry. Measures to overcome the recent difficulties in the pigmeat sector are also being implemented;

A range of measures will be introduced to re-invigorate the international financial services industry including: reform of the legislative framework for financial services in Ireland, support for a targeted upskilling programme for the industry to enhance the skill base necessary to attract and retain investment; increased support for Research, Development and Innovation activity; extending the number of double taxation treaties; and vigorous promotion targeting new opportunities in areas such as specialist leasing, pensions, technology development and sovereign wealth funds.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:00 pm

Can we have a new thread for discussing the Government strategy?
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:23 pm

It is quite obvious that an increased competitiveness will require a reduction in income. Clearly this should be top down in approach in order to protect the lower paid sectors more than the higher paid but it will most likely be necessary across the board. We may not like this fact but the fact will exist whether we deal with it or not. Both my father and my girlfriend's father are in private sector business and both are taking pay cuts, as are all their staff and both have managed to cut over half a million in costs from their respective businesses. When can we expect the Government led sectors to follow? I don't say this as a critic of public sector, heck I wish I was a Third Secretary in the Dept of Foreign Affairs and my brother is a civil servant but nonetheless tough decisions are going to have to be made within that sector and sooner rather than later.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Economy: What Needs to Be Done?   Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:19 pm

johnfás wrote:
It is quite obvious that an increased competitiveness will require a reduction in income. Clearly this should be top down in approach in order to protect the lower paid sectors more than the higher paid but it will most likely be necessary across the board. We may not like this fact but the fact will exist whether we deal with it or not. Both my father and my girlfriend's father are in private sector business and both are taking pay cuts, as are all their staff and both have managed to cut over half a million in costs from their respective businesses. When can we expect the Government led sectors to follow? I don't say this as a critic of public sector, heck I wish I was a Third Secretary in the Dept of Foreign Affairs and my brother is a civil servant but nonetheless tough decisions are going to have to be made within that sector and sooner rather than later.

The problem is that there is a downward deflationary spiral and wage cuts will contribute to mortgage defaults and reduced spending generally. I don't think there is any "solution" to a bursting balloon.
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