|'Taking flight' - The Irish on the move 'en masse' once more|
When you look at the context, though, the widely accepted fact that things will be as bad as ever for the ‘Free State’ is pretty logical really. Before we look at that ‘context’, it must be said that politicians and others who were quick to take credit for our economic expansion cannot simply shun culpability for their part in aiding our dramatic collapse. In any case, their role in both events was superficial.
Wage demands were relatively low compared to other Western countries. We had agreeable tax rates and a laissez-faire political attitude to big business. Coupled with this, the availability of cheap money (at the time) from our European neighbours – a result of our decision to join the EU and later the European Monetary Union – meant we could push ahead with much needed infrastructural development which thus provided massive employment in the construction sector, a natural phase for an emerging country to go through. Inevitably, though, with so much money flying about the country, everybody wanted a greater slice of the cake. So wage and welfare demands increased and we gradually became a less attractive place for outsiders to do business in.
|While many Irish may be 'struggling', it's all relative|
For the majority of Irish people, struggling as we may be, such a life-or-death scenario is something we don’t have to face.