Pat Rabbitte: It’s not ‘favouring’ austerity if you have no choice

Ireland in 2011 had lost its financial sovereignty and going against the troika would have meant financial ruin. The then government’s options were to make it work, or make it worse

From left: Klaus Masuch of the European Central Bank, István Szekely of the European Commission and Ajai Chopra of the IMF in Dublin in 2011, at the nadir of Ireland’s plight during the financial crisis. Picture: Photocall Ireland

Aidan Regan, my fellow Business Post columnist, wrote recently in this publication about the Labour Party’s role in “implementing austerity”. He asserted that the party must admit that austerity was a mistake that played no role in Ireland’s economic recovery if it is to have a future on the left of Irish politics.

If he had concluded that the decline in the party’s fortunes was due to the untimely Labour decision to enter government in ...