The EU’s latest report of Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) shows that Ireland is still the wealthiest country in that organisation. (I exclude Luxembourg whose figure is fundamentally distorted by the number of foreign workers there). We’re apparently 40% above the EU average, while the next wealthiest, Sweden, Holland, Denmark and Austria average about 25% higher.
This apparent refutation of our much-touted poverty has given the chattering classes much to crow about. The most pernicious outcome is their attempt to use it to make respectable the massive borrowings proposed by our (mis)government. The logic, such as it goes, is along the lines of ‘hey, if we’re still this wealthy, why don't we just keep borrowing to meet the deficit until the good times roll again?’
It’s pernicious because the country desperately needs to cut our out-of-control public expenditure, which is generating deficits of Zimbabwean dimensions. Continuing to spend like drunken sailors and landing the bill on the next generation (or more accurately, the next government) will ensure that the country sinks ever deeper into the morass that now surrounds us.