Irish Government Statement on Application for Financial Aid from EU and IMF Post author By Philip Lane Post date November 21, 2010 The statement is available here. Categories In Bailout Tags Irish bailout 62 Comments on Irish Government Statement on Application for Financial Aid from EU and IMF ← A Call for a Public Retraction from Garret Fitzgerald → Bondholders and Restructuring 62 replies on “Irish Government Statement on Application for Financial Aid from EU and IMF” The two Brians and their spin doctors are still trying to flesh-up broken economy with lies and not admitting their role in bring down this country. They have been bullied to a corner by France, Germany and the mighty economic powers This is a disgrace. Information for foreign readers: thepropertypin.com is an excellent site for Irish opinion and Irish analysis of the Irish economy. Thread on press conference running there now. politics.ie is much more political and has a government/vested interests troll problem – as irisheconomy.ie has – but is also an excellent site for gauging opinion among those who follow Irish politics closely. Thousands of bank jobs to go then. Perhaps we should have just put in for a transfer of balance at 6 months interest free with MBNA! Who’s up to bat next then? Portugal? You didn’t get the impression that An T was giving a heartfelt message to the Irish people. Comms is not his strong point is it. What is? Link to the EU and ECB statements (1st two items) http://europa.eu/press_room/index_en.htm “No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but ’tis enough,’twill serve: ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for this world.” Having some idea of how long it takes to get an EU finance ministers statement signed off before they will air it, my guess is it was drafted at least a couple of days ago (and somebody just had to press ‘print’ tonight), at around the time the various boyos arrived in Dublin on Thursday. Do you suppose there were any actual ‘negotiations’ or did the IMF just turn up on Thursday and tell us what would be happening and what we would say in that statement tonight? @Joseph I think Cowen has done the nation a favour by speaking incomprehensible management gibberish speak rather then Obama like change gibberish for the past two years The last thing this country needs is false hope from a poltical class that have no power. There was obviously a immediate bank problem. Probably AIB has run out of money. That is the reason for Sunday night statement. Interesting that Lenihan mentioned keeping cash in ATMs at press conference. Clearly we were back at Sept 29 2008. The ECB statement was very terse compared with EU statement. I think the loaded gun was being held by the ECB. When this is over, I hope that the new Irish government has the balls to tell them them where to stick the loaded gun. @all ‘Those who know seem not to know And those who don’t pretend they do – This is what it means to be flawed. If you’re sick at this, then you’ll win through. The sage is sick. He is sick of all faults – He is sick of being sick. He is well.’ [Tao Te Ching, Chap 71] Solidarity from our European fellow citizens is much appreciated. @David O Donnell European Solidarity me hole – its one of our main failings as a people to look abroad for recognition and help. This is not the bloody euro vision. @ David O’Donnell If by solidarity you mean the Irish taxpayer saving the German banks that invested in Anglo et al then yes you are right……solidarity here we come!! The really galling thing is that only for the banks we would actually have been able to ride this through, that is if we hadn’t muddled up the sovereign with the bank debt. @Keith Cunneen Bean-E-Krib_een says Hi! Whatever about ‘your hole’ (which I leave entirely in your own capable sovereign hands) – were we not European, you would not have had a pot to p1ss in for the past few years. Little_irelanders will get us nowhere … neither will zenophobic far right Irish nationalism of the localist Tally_bantustan variety get us anywhere ………. We needed help – we are getting it from our neighbours; let’s learn from it. My hope is that not only the financial system be restructured – but that Irish Citizenry will wake up to political realites as the greatest enemies of the Irish serfs have always been their Irish overlords. @De Roiste I’m now, and have been for yonks, totally and vehementally opposed to Socialization of Financial System debt on the backs of Citizens – regardless of nation or region ………… Serfs are not in Political Power – so lets get it. RTE has a cracking Week in Politics now Muddied up indeed….somehow we are expected to believe that the banks are an intrinsic part of the government when things are going wrong but they are heroic free market pioneers when times are good!!!! This government has been rolled into sacrficing ireland’s future for the benefit of other countries’ banks and, to justify it, they purposely confalate public sector with private sector, the future with the present and the nation with the EU…..they really are traitors. Now we can expect a generation of cuts to education, health, infrastructure building and to social security. The social pact is over and the country will be officially run for the benefit of bond markets and interest payments. All this even though future taxpayers will have received NO benefit whatever from taking on this debt because they will be the solvent savers. Whe are all the lawyers and constitutional experts when we need them. Neo classical economists and cronyism politicians have done their worst and now we need somebody to at least try to hold onto our sovereignty by campaigning for either a constitutionally mandated separation of banks from government or for the prohibition of all private sector lending. It has to be one or the other, doesn’t it? @David O Donnell Just watched the Week in Politics show and it was quite funny to see the look on their faces when RTE presented some English papers and sketches about ” The Irish Problem ” We are such a juvenile people always worried about what other people think of us. In a word we are pathetic. And no I am not some anti European gob shit – but once De Gaulle was got rid of this project was solely a banking operation and nothing more. A cooperative Europe without independent states is a Europe by the banks for the banks @Bklyn_rntr “..somehow we are expected to believe that the banks are an intrinsic part of the government when things are going wrong but they are heroic free market pioneers when times are good!!!!” Absolutely – The guarantee of bank bondholders senior and junior is just so unspeakably perverse it leaves one speechless. Yet there are posters on here who claim there was no alternative. Are we seriously expected to believe that after a few hundred years of banking Angela Merkel suddenly realises that there is moral hazard associated with governments using their taxpaying citizens to guarantee private speculators. That will be known in future history books as “the great fraud” of 2008 PRESS RELEASE [European Central Bank] http://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2010/html/pr101121.en.html 21 November 2010 – ECB Governing Council welcomes the request of the Irish Government for financial assistance The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) welcomes the request of the Irish Government for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union and euro-area Member States. The ECB concurs with the Commission, Ecofin Ministers and the Eurogroup that providing assistance to Ireland is warranted to safeguard financial stability in the European Union and in the euro area. The European Union and euro-area financial support, together with the IMF financing, will be provided under strong policy conditionality, on the basis of a programme negotiated with the Irish authorities by the Commission and the IMF, in liaison with the ECB. We are confident that this programme will contribute to ensuring the stability of the Irish banking system and permit it to perform its role in the functioning of the economy. European Central Bank Directorate Communications Press and Information Division Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main Tel.: +49 69 1344 7455, Fax: +49 69 1344 7404 Internet: [http://www.ecb.europa.eu] @Frank Galton [ta for link] … ‘strong positive conditionality’ worth noting – now for the Interest Rate – 3% please ….. AMcGrath, Great fraud Is probably the term history will use. There’s no doubt that this is a hoist of historic proportions……but how do ordinary people fight this? Some say remover your deposits from the banks….others are to, en masse refyuse to pay taxes……but neither route is satisfactory because they leave the essential core of the system in place. It’s also impossible to vote an alternative since all of the current lot of politicians are compromised. Maybe legal delaying tactics are required, bet even that seems unlikely given the myopia that every branch of the power structure suffers. I Anipmal Farm, the Pigs took over and set the political agenda while the literate donkey looked on passively…..today, the pigs are ruing the show but he donkey is just as complicit as the pigs and that is really depressing. Decision making is now in responsible hands and I am grateful. An election now is not such a pressing matter since the latitude for profligacy is much constrained. We can now prepare ourselves for the high pitched whining and complaining about the stringent conditions being imposed by ECB/IMF. The more of it I hear the happier I will be. No FF or FG vote buying leading up to the next election fresh air is wafting over Ireland once again. Sovereignty always lies with the individual, not “the state”. When individuals come together then they become as powerful as they wish. But only if some have not decided to betray others by enacting laws that cause division and enable a few to live off others. while it is a few we accept it and call it democracy. The trouble begins when too many get too greedy and involve banking. European sovereignty? World sovereignty? Defining terms is always important. We, as Ireland, with or without those ejected over the years, can pledge our resources for enormous loans. But do we want to? Do we need to? How are we to know, if those who mislead us lie and tell us nothing about what was happening? This entire affair from 1999 on, has always centred on the agency problem, those whom we elect to manage, stealing from us in amounts we can no longer ignore and in numbers sufficient to produce thousands of shills. Irish Government is and will remain an oxymoron until this is carefully addressed over the coming decades. EU involvement will use subsidiarity as much as possible so we will still have a need to identify suitable managers. Pay them too little and the CJH factor begins all over again. Paying them too much seems to be impossible. They have too many temptations. They will have to make “transparency” and “Ireland” synonymous. I don’t understand the government’s logic over the minimum wage cut they are flagging. On the one hand, they are clearly saying that people aren’t taking up work because the difference between the dole and the minimum wage isn’t enough to entice people to want to go back to work (let’s ignore the fact for the moment that there aren’t many jobs out there). How on earth can they then logically argue that cutting the minimum wage improves that situation? It just makes it worse. The differential just becomes even smaller. I wonder if they think that taking a Euro per hour off the minimum wage will suddenly see new jobs mushrooming all over the place. Unless of course they are planning even more drastic cuts than that to the welfare payments but just haven’t got round to mentioning that yet? I am heartily sick of watching overpaid people saying that those at the bottom of the ladder need to take the cuts. I think I may be turning into a socialist after all this. If reducing wages really is some form of path to competitiveness in their view, surely it’s the cost of the professions that should be looked at first? 800 an hour to do some work for NAMA. Surely you are having a laugh? Much of the chat here is about the banks. But the implications for fiscal policy are key. It is interesting to see that the Statement from Eurogroup reaffirms the 3pct target deficit / GDP target in 2014 (a target the Irish government had previously agreed with the EC, as expressed in the Ireland fiscal stabilisation programme). Just a point: anyone can investigate what happened. Some of the more hysterical and dsperate agents, tax cojnsultants and accountnats, would ask Inspectors of Taxes what “powers” we had to ask questions. The answer is “the power of speech”! In nearly all cases, however, we could not compel answers. If we had worked for George Bush, we could waterboard ….. Please ask those who might know, what was going on and when. Get together and collate the reports. Publish them, on wikileaks, if no where else. I especially address this to public servants! We don’ need no stinkin’ tribunals! Sovereignty rests with individuals. Your choice, you are living there! Joseph Thanks for your information. @joseph The differential does not become smaller if you’re also planning to cut social welfare. In fact, if you’re cutting social welfare you HAVE to cut the minimum wage. This is the manual devaluation. One anecdote: I spoke to an executive in a food company. They make a globally consumed product, and are based here because of excellent raw materials (milk). For the last few years the board have been frowning as wages consume more and more of their profit when they see a minimum wage in Poland for 3.65. The managers here are under to pressure to explain why they shouldn’t just export the milk to Poland and process their product there. They’ve worked out already they can save a fortune. I know its painful to reduce the wage before all the costs of living have come down, but this is about saving jobs and jobs are the most precious thing now. The wage spiral was part of a cost spiral with each rising to meet the other. The downward spiral has to start now. (agree though that it must happen at top too). The bank guarantee was driven by circumstances which had accumulated over a period of years. Catastrophe often comes silently and we sorta hadta do it on the night. That fix didn’t work, but it preserved a certain order for a while. Now we have a new prescription, which is again driven by decisions made years ago. The new remedy is guaranteed to work for us ‘provided we get growth in Ireland’. In the absence of same growth, which is critically dependent on growth outside Ireland, the ‘inevitable’ 4 year plan has to lead to deflation, higher unemployment, and poorer social services. It’s hard to see a shrunken banking sector doing much new lending. It’s equally hard to see real reform of our polity. The MNCs may provide tax, but not many more jobs, and selective emigration of those with training and education seems most likely. @Sarah Carey – I accept that if the argument is that it’s cheaper to do it elsewhere because their minimum wage is lower (i.e. a race to the bottom) and it means that tens of thousands of jobs really are going to go overseas then there’s a reason for questioning/challenging the size of the minimum wage in Ireland….. but that’s not the argument they are using… and there are good reasons why they are using the spurious argument. The government are very clearly saying that it is the differential (not being big enough) between dole money and minimum wage that is preventing people from returning to work and making the welfare payments bill so high i.e. why go and do a 40 hour week when it’s only worth an extra tuppence an hour to be back in work instead of on the dole? If you further reduce the size of that differential by reducing the minimum wage then it is illogical (which leads me to suspect a big cut in dole is on the way – much bigger than the cut in the minimum wage – otherwise it just doesn’t stack up). If (and it is an ‘if’ because this is an insult to the vast majority of people who have been made jobless and dearly want employment) it were true that people were thinking that then you would have to make the difference between being on the dole and being in work more attractive i.e. widening the gap between being on the dole and being in work. But let’s take a reality check here. There’s always been a strong lobby in Ireland against even having a minimum wage let alone one that people can actually survive on because it means more profit for the employers. Secondly, as I mention above, telling the mostly enforced unemployed that they are lazy scheisters who don’t want to work is an insult to the vast majority of them. Third: there aren’t any jobs out there anyway. I guess the other part of that reality check is the real reason why the welfare bill is so high is chronic mismanagement of the economy… but they aren’t likely to admit that. But they sure need a good excuse to cut the dole payment and being lazy scheisters and saying that the cost of living has come down is an easy way to do it. Also, let’s bear in mind that most of the people made unemployed in the past year or two probably didn’t come from minimum wage jobs – they have some level of skill. I wonder if putting an architect into a minimum wage factory job is the best use the country can make of him/her? I would also take issue about the cost of living point too. There is a massive resistance to reduce any prices in this country and the downward spiral is going to lag well behind any drop in wages. Any bill I care to choose (car insurance, house insurance, health insurance, electricity, gas, transport, etc.) have all gone up in the past year or are going up in the near future. Oil is going up. Foodstuff and commodities are threatening to spike again next year, mortgage payments will probably leap next year, etc. Some spurious basket of goods that has only gone up 0.6% in the past year doesn’t mean that people are finding it more expensive to live in Ireland. I’m sure many governments around the world would love to see inflation back for the obvious debt-related reasons. As for the anecdote… why haven’t they moved then? My guess is that they’ve rightly guessed that bottom-end wages in Ireland are going to come down and that the cost of physically moving plant/knowledge and training staff in Poland (plus redundancy costs here and reputational cost if they sell domestically etc. etc.) does not stack up on the old cost benefit spreadsheet. This is often the case when looking at moving low-end, minimum wage functions. It’s only when you move high-end jobs such as IT and accountancy etc. that the benefits start to outweigh the cost. I was dealing with one company in the UK not long ago who were even looking at moving their actuarial function to India! Anyway, your milk producer isn’t going to admit any of that to you. It’s better to keep the threat out there and use it to persuade governments to reduce the minimum wage and it keeps the workers and future wage demands in check if the proles think there’s a Damaclese sword hanging over them. This is why the government are using the ‘differential’ argument: they know that the ‘competitiveness’ argument (i.e. Poland is cheaper than Ireland) doesn’t actually stack up for low paid jobs when it’s put under the microscope. Sorry to ramble on. If you are at the Labour party pre-budget conference on Saturday I’m happy to continue the debate with you there a(I will be there covering it). The wage spiral was part of a cost spiral with each rising to meet the other. The downward spiral has to start now. It looks as though the Croke Park deal is also up for grabs: And in another sign of the potential impact of the bailout, Mr Lenihan said that while the Croke Park deal to protect public servants from job and pay cuts had not been raised, it “might be discussed in the future”. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/euro80bn-bailout-how-wersquoll-pay-the-price-2430119.html Future = we’re talikng about it now. Anybody like to bet what the proposed public service pay cuts will be? I reckon 10%, though I admit I am totally clueless in this domain. Sarah Sometimes the media are used for disinformation …… Hard to believe that sometimes readers cannot trust journalists? Why is it that Insurance companies treat journalists as such a bad risk? @ Carolous this morning, Lenny on the wireless this morning *LENIHAN: PUBLIC PAY ALREADY DOWN 14% *LENIHAN: GOVERNMENT PAY ACCORD MAY BE REVIEWED NEXT YEAR @Joseph One of the litmus tests of economic ignorance is the failure to understand the nature of the supply / demand curve. It’s ECON 101 — raise the cost of labour and, ceteris paribus, you reduce the demand. Now go away and do your homework before you come back. 🙂 The anecdote did not come via media briefing but a social conversation. It was a genuine executive sharing genuine insight. They were worried about their own job because if the labour goes the executives go too. I know spurious are arguments are used (e.g. the Ed Walsh comparisons with Northern Ireland yet he never acknowledges costs are so much lower there – the NHS for starters). I know the chicken and egg argument means the chicken who has to go first are the workers/unemployed. But none of that changes the fact that a) we have to manually devalue – consumers allowed themselves to be ripped off because they weren’t challenging prices – they will if they’ve less money (and do you know anyone who hasn’t changed their consumer behaviour?) and b) there are industries where the minimum wage is a problem @ – “I reckon 10%” I read somewhere that typical public service wage cuts after a ‘bailout’ (or whatever they want to call it – they can call it ‘a garden shed’ for all I care if that’s what they think suits their PR strategy) tend to be in the 20-40% region. What were they in Greece recently? That might give you an indication. Imagine being singled out for a 20% wage cut because of who your employer is and not because of what you contribute. Must be a horrible position to be in I would imagine. If the economy doesn’t grow, the bonds don’t get repaid . It’s fairly obvious. It’s much bigger than Ireland’s problem now. Nobody asked German banks to invest €139bn in Ireland or UK banks €149bn. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2010/1122/1224283833586.html Good piece by Jhn McManaus in the IT explaining the basic reason why we didn’t let the Irish banks fail and why we should be at least somewhat angered by the ECB’s behaviour. @Sarah – I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m disagreeing with the government and the arguments they are calling out. There’s also all the stuff about low paid and unemployed spending all their cash straight into the economy as they don’t save etc. and that causing a big pain for retailers but you know all that anyway. I fear that current forecasts for future growth are going to be too high and we will still not hit the target after years of austerity. What happens then? And what happens if our debts are still so high in 2,3, 4 years time that all we’ve really done is kicked the can (default) down the road just so Euro banks can get out of all this safely. We really have screwed future generations then. @Bond. Eoin Bond – that’s a very good article. Thanks. @ Bond. Eoin Bond Yes, thanks for that. Excellent article. Should be mandatory reading for all in the Irish media, especially those who are interviewing politicians and the commentariat. Deserves a thread of its own but will it get one. This is the nub of the issue. By using the blanket guarantee, rather than calling in the IMF immediately, the Government made sure Ireland took one for the EU team. As some pointed out this board, all the various bank resolution options discussed at great length were futile if pretection from the bond market were not secured. And the IMF was the only institution caable of providing this- and still is, even if the EU has belatedly ponied up some dosh. Unfortunately, Ireland is now committed to take a long and drawn-out battering for a smaller team of stupid bond investors (and the savers they represent) in core EZ countries and the UK. Ken Rogoff (in an article referenced by Philip Lane: http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/11/19/austerity-and-the-imf/ which attracted little comment) points out that “with the IMF’s arrival bond holders are off the hook.” This is probably unavoidable – even if its inequity should be highlighted, but, before cutting social welfare rates and the minimum wage, we should go after those who are keeping costs and prices high in the domestic economy. As I’ve pointed out previously, last Friday the CER published its decision on eletcricity distribution revenues for th next 5 years which will push up final prices in real terms. (No press release though and the CER plays a trick of the loop with the profile of revenue to get prices down in the first year while making that reduction up later.) A decision on transmission revenues is expected shortly that will push final prices even higher. This is the kind of stuff we should be going after – and there are plenty of other examples throughout the non-tradable sectors. Also, on a related note – Anglo sub debt meeting #2 has passed this morning, with 92% voting in favour. This means around 60mio (ie the 8%)of the 750mio 2017 issue will be wiped out to the tune of 1 cent, while the other 690mio will get 20 cents worth of senior 1yr ELG paper paying mid swaps plus 375bps (ie nominal paper of 136.8mio). @Paddy Orwell Ahem. Some of us in the Irish media have been saying exactly the same thing John did this morning for a long time. @Joseph Agree on the growth problem (or lack thereof). I think that’s why the corporation tax is safe. Why would they attack the one thing we know can bring in plenty of revenue? @ Sarah Carey. True and more power to you. But exceptions prove the rule. This should have been a mantra as it goes to the core of the issue. Listen to the extensive Morning Ireland and Newstalk interviews with the Minister of Finance this morning and this central issue hardly merits a mention. The media has, on the other hand, been obsessed with the non-issue of the Governments denial last week – which to anyone with an ounce of sense was obviously a negotiating tactic. @ Sarah Carey The media have also been obsessed with the red line (red herring) issue of corporation tax which was never going to be changed but was nothing but a decoy to distract from the main issue of ECB culpability. @ Sarah Carey Did the Irish Times take an editorial stance on bringing the ECB to book? And if not, do you know why? @ Eoin Bond, Very interesting article, thanks. @ Joesph, A pay cut is one thing, which in itself is not too bad as it has a upside. The less you earn the less you pay in tax etc. However a pay cut combined with a tax increase!! There is no upside. Only Real pain. @sarah carey “The differential does not become smaller if you’re also planning to cut social welfare. In fact, if you’re cutting social welfare you HAVE to cut the minimum wage.” That’s illogical; cutting social welfare and leaving minimum wage alone reduces the replacement rate and therefore incentivises labour market participation. Doing both together, though dependent on relative magnitude of each, minimises the incentive. …. b) there are industries where the minimum wage is a problem Where are these industries? About 5% of people are on minimum wage and these tend not to be in the traded sectors. Cutting minimum wage will have no direct impact on competitiveness and will do nothing for the real reason for lay-offs in sectors where minimum wage is found, i.e. collapse in demand. There is a discussion to be had on on how the minimum wage might serve as a reference point for other wage levels in the economy; particularly REAs and EROs but that’s a different kettle of cod. There’s also a presumption that cost of labour is significant for all – it’s not. In the traded sector issues such as transport costs (DELL) or energy (cue Paul Hunt) are often of greater importance. While in the realm of anecdote, it wasn’t the per diem norm that stopped me taking on a fieldworker for a contract I had last summer – it was the ludicrous public and employer liability quotes I received. @Sporthog Yes. Ouch! @Sarah Carey. The wage spiral was part of a cost spiral with each rising to meet the other. The downward spiral has to start now. (agree though that it must happen at top too). Cuts should have started at the top. They didn’t. As usual in started at the bottom with temporary workers being laid off in the public sector, a stupid economic decision by any standards. The question of which sectors bears the cost of Irelan’d denouement will be the key question in the next few years. The Italian newspapers this morning report that the amount required by Ireland is between €80-€90 billion. The ‘plan’ will remain in place for three years and will begin in the Spring. Welfare cuts will start with 5% in 2011 and conclude with 11% in 2014. What is not clear (to me) is whether the funds will have to be repaid within the period of the plan. Any comment? Also since the Greens have decided to get on their bikes, the whole idea of a stable 4-year plan has been thrown over. Surely time for a swift general election and then a plan in the New Year. @Paddy I keep saying here – I never know about any Irish Times agenda. There are never any conversations of any kind with me anyway pushing or even discussing a line. I operate solo which AFAIK is how most of the columnists operate. We don’t even go into the office. I think Fintan OToole is the only one on staff… In my experience anyway a explicit agenda is rarely required. Newsroom cultures and groupthinks take care of the consensus…. @ Sarah so you’re saying its nothing like the wonderful kids tv show Press Gang? 🙁 @ Sarah Sorry the question was slightly rhetorical. The IT has an ultra pro-EU agenda as an analysis of front page lead stories will confirm (esp. during the Lisbon Treaty campaign). They will allow some token dissenters to provide a veneer of balance. But no way will they start having a go at the ECB etc from the front page. Todays headline “EU approves Irish request for Multibillion Euro request for Aid”. How nice of them. I wonder if Brian Cowen will upstage them all and call an election immediately? Desperate men do desperate things. More importantly, my daughter wonders whether there will be a Christmas this year. I just told her the Green Grinch and the IMF might steal it. Talking of Brian Cowen …. has anyone seen him today? He seems to have disappeared again. Portugal’s Jose Socrates: “The country does not need any help…What the country needs is to do what is necessary, to approve the budget, and to continue in its efforts.” Didn’t someone here say exactly the same thing a week ago? How can a country receiving a multi-billion euro bailout also have the highest minimum wage in europe. Of course it has to be lowered, it’s pointless even discussing it. When it comes to a possible bailout, other countries don’t care what the Irish minimum wage is. They do care what people on more than minimum wage earns…. I’ve read comments from Irish people on how foreigners come to Ireland and accept wages no Irish could live on. Presumably these wages would be minimum wage or higher. So lowering the minimum wage would do what? @seafoid. re Nobody asked German banks to invest €139bn in Ireland or UK banks €149bn. I wonder where these numbers are coming from? They seem very high to me. Take the national debt at €100 billion and the bank bond debt at ? . It does not make sense to me. Unless of course they are adding in loans to commercial companies based in Ireland. I would be interested in getting clarity on these numbers. There’s some meat in the George Osborne statement, which is also notably blunter than the usual riddles the Dail is given. […] Link: The Irish Economy » Blog Archive » Irish Government Statement on … […] @ Jarlath “How can a country receiving a multi-billion euro bailout also have the highest minimum wage in europe. Of course it has to be lowered, it’s pointless even discussing it.” We don’t have the highest minimum wage in Europe – either nominally or relatively. Given that the speculation of a €1 per hour cut seems well informed discussion may well be pointless – but operating on that basis would shut down 90% of discussion on this blog! However, unless welfare rates come down by €39 per week then structural distortions will enter the labour market at entry/re-integration points. Either option might be worthy of discussion. Additionally if half, for example, of minimum wage workers are on Family Income Supplement then the additional welfare bill is in the region of €43 million p.a. as this will automatically rise to make up some of the lost wage. Peanuts, I know, in the context of the bailout! Comments are closed.