yesterday the Irish government supposedly launched a “fiscal stimulus plan”, albeit without detailing exactly how the spending would be funded.
Is this worthy of a post on Irish economy?
While the spending announcements are very small, and will have close to zero impact on Irish GDP growth, perhaps the more significant point is that the budgetary process stills seems hostage to our politicians’ tendency to grandstand.
the main motivation for yesterdays announcements seems to have been to Brendan Howlin a piece of the action, and a few good headlines on economy. What does this say about efforts to reform the Irish budgetary process?
@JMK, given the impossibility of funding a real stimulus package, and the damage that such a package could do to Irish debt sustainability if it was somehow funded, I think we should be grateful that the government is responding to the electorate’s demand for such a package by grandstanding.
Your alter ego wrote some while ago: “Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”
This would surely be a compliment to Irish politicians.
The holidays are coming up and promising 13,000 jobs doesn’t happen every day. The number was likely plucked from the air but I suppose that doesn’t matter.
Also on Tuesday, a project for 40 new wind farms in midland counties, whereby the energy would be channelled to the UK market via dedicated sub-sea cables, was announced. The Irish Times reports Element Power Ireland says the initiative will create 2,000 long-term jobs and as many as 10,000 jobs in the construction phase.
Element Power Ireland said it had signed a “firm grid connection of 3,000 megawatts” with National Grid UK.
A “firm” connection means the UK power market can take the output at all times, the firm said. This would enable £1.2 billion worth of energy exports from the Irish market, it added.
Maybe, but I doubt that National Grid UK signed a firm supply contract in advance of a project beginning.
I wonder whether the ESRI have noticed that macroeconomics is in a wee bit of trouble. One or two sensible academics have realised that macro has become a shouting match between model builders. And there is no method, Popperian or otherwise, of distinguishing between models. Macro has no method for deciding on what constitutes a good or bad model. DSGE? IS/LM? Lewis Carroll? Shock horror, the preferred model is chosen on the bais of political ideology. Talk about intellectual regress. Build an actual road to nowhere, not another utterly useless economic model.
The lack of a post on Minister Howlin’s ’stimulus package’ is interesting; but we are deep in the holiday season after all. The limited - veering towards the negligible - substance (when compared to the challenge), the extended dribbling delivery of what’s being promised and the apparent absence of any economic evaluation of the costs and benefits might also dampen the enthusiam of posters. It’s also far safer - and provides much better copy - to rail at the perfidy of foreigners in Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, etc. than to apply economic tools to examine the combination of nonsense and inadequacy that our dear leaders serve up.
@ Richard M: That Zerohedge piece is pretty woeful. Most folk do not ‘read’ Richard - other than the Sports sections and the comic strips! That is the mentality that is valued.
The macro crisis is insoluble - using existing beliefs, opinions, views, ideas, models - “or whatever your having yourself”. Insoluble.
Someone should make a ‘disaster movie’ about Easter Island. It was neither fiction nor fantasy and something similar it may very well wash ashore in a location near you (and me) - absent some new Mentality. The Mentality on offer is sterile, homogenized pap.
I would venture to opine that micro might be in a spot of bother as well. Two posts below yours our resident lover of all things Northern European calls for a cost benefit analysis of yesterday’s “stimulus programme”. Would that this were so simple. Give me an excel spreadsheet, infuse with imagination and add a holistic view of societal benefits and I can make any project NPV positive.
Will they be paying the same salary and perks offered to the recent posts in the D of F i.e. €145,000 pa, Rolls Royce DB Pension, 7 weeks hols and any hours you like as long as it does not exceed 40 per week ?? Great Little country that is supposed to be Bankrupt !!!! It is not Bankrupt for those on the gravy train in the CS/PS but is for the rest of us who put up with this rubbish !!!
- “the Ganzy” is de rigeur as the working clothes !!!
The Bill seems straightforward enough. I have a concern: the role envisaged for the FC appears very limited. As envisaged in this legislation, it will, to all intents and purposes, be a creature of the Minister for Finance who makes all the appointments and to whom it reports.
Would it not be preferable that members of the FC should present their credentials to the PAC or Finance Committee who might have an equal say in approving their appointment? OK, as things stand, the Oireacthas Committees are themselves a creature of the Executive and subject to the ‘party whip’ as well as having loaded representation in respect of the government of the day.
But such a public appearance and examination of appointment credentials would at least ensure that the FC is not just a collection of faceless, back-room boffins who produce dry reports that are read by nobody except officials and opposition spokespersons and who make periodic appearances before Oireachtas Committees at which they describe what it is they do rather than analyse what is going on in any substantive way. It would also contribute towards generating some public confidence in the institution. Worst of all, the process set out for appointing FC members leaves open the possibility of members being selected on a ‘one for me, one for you’ basis by respective government partners, especially if there is no public scrutiny related to the appointments, which does little or nothing for any public confidence in its independence.
I also wonder whether the proposed budget of €800k pa will be sufficient, particularly if one assumes that there will be a research requirement for the FC. Good quality research is expensive, as are high quality communications with the public, both of which I think should be core values of the FC in operation. So when you add up the likely costs of remunerating the FC members, the administrative costs, rent and rates and the like, necessary travel expenses, publications and materials costs there’ll be little change left out of the proposed budget for a high quality inhouse research function or public education, which are vital if the FC is to fulfil a genuine ‘checks and balances’ role against the inevitable tendency towards government profligacy.
Hopefully, there will be amendments focused on these issues as the legislation proceeds. Meanwhile it would be interesting to hear the views of Philip Lane or John McHale on the blueprint as currently proposed?
“I have a concern: the role envisaged for the FC appears very limited. As envisaged in this legislation, it will, to all intents and purposes, be a creature of the Minister for Finance who makes all the appointments and to whom it reports.
Would it not be preferable that members of the FC should present their credentials to the PAC or Finance Committee who might have an equal say in approving their appointment?”
This government has consistently reneged on or watered down all pre-election promises of political reform. Reducing the number of TDs by 8 is now considered radical. The Fiscal Council won’t be so independent. Political appointments have not been depoliticised.
The political classes have not learned the lessons of the last few years at all. It is very depressing really.