Irish wage levels must equal those of our trading partners

Although wage cuts could be hard to accept, especially by those trying to pay off debts incurred during the boom years, they would greatly help the economy to recover, writes Philip Lane

21st March, 2009

The rapid deterioration in the public finances reflects the sharp reversal in the state of the Irish economy. Relative to the central expectations that prevailed across most households, firms, banks and policymakers up to summer 2007, the hard landing now being experienced is truly shocking and is prompting a major revision in plans concerning sustainable levels of (private and public) consumption and investment.

In turn, the decline in expenditure amplifies the recession and directly feeds into...

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