Lest We Forget
As it would appear, Ireland looks to be on a steady pathway out of the recession - better IMHO termed the DEPRESSION, for what transpired over the last 8 years amounts to a DISASTER of enormous proportions.
One single statistic alone serves to give us a clear impression of the enormity of the disaster. It has been estimated that there were 500 extra suicides as a result of the Recession / Depression. Those who helped cause the recession / depression have 500 deaths on their conscience.
Irish Youth Dispora
Add to that the 1000's of our youth and our finest minds who have fled the country in search of a better life, and who will not be in a hurry to return. Recent estimates put the figure at almost 10% of our youth had left the country. Then there are the many thousands of damaged families, the lost homes, the lost life-savings etc. etc.
Greed was the essential cause of the calamity. Along with a very imbalanced society. The gap between the rich and the poor is WAY WAY WAY too wide in Ireland. There is an elite in Ireland who are completely out of touch the what happened. The top elite actually benefited financially by as much as 7% during the recession, while others lost everything including in some cases their lives. Members of the Irish Parliament can be numbered among the elite, I say this based on their large disproportionate and self-appointed salaries and huge expenses. Many failed to apprehend the level of suffering that the people endured due to their financially insulated positions.
The Irish Prime Minister draws €183,350 p.a. PLUS €296,000 in expenses. An ordinary member of the Irish parliament, who only attends the house for very short numbers of hours in a year, draws €87,000 p.a. PLUS average expenses of around €25,000 p.a. and some have claimed twice that amount - that salary exceeds what the Spanish Prime Minister is paid. Not-imbalanced? Small country - in deep recession - 500 extra suicides provoked by the hardships - can pay that sort of money to it's politicians - BALANCED compared to other countries - compared to the work involved - compared to those on minimum wage?
Faulty Political System and Gross Imbalances
Are we out of the depression? Perhaps we are seeing clear skies again after the deluge, but what worries me is too many of the imbalances still remain, and our politics are fundamentally faulty and incapable of delivering any real changes.
LEST WE FORGET
Compiled October 2012
STRESS and DEPRESSION IN IRISH CHILDREN up in 2 years by 30%
ALCOHOL and SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN IRELAND up by 42%
(increased 42% in 5 years 2005 to 2010)
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE up from 2010 to 2011 by 15%
(11,000 women and children sought refuge in 2011 according to SAFE organisation).
UNEMPLOYMENT has increased by 352%
( from 4.2% in 2007 to 14.8% by October 2012)
UNEMPLOYMENT among 15 to 24y group nationally stands at 39%
UNEMPLOYMENT in the 15 to 25y group in some areas is at 74%
HOUSE BUILDING homes built 8,488 has dropped over 90% since 2006 at 93,000, and is 20% down in one year.
BUSINESS INSOLVENCIES Up 13.30% from 2010.
(1,684 companies failed in 2012 alone)
FUEL POVERTY, (the decision to Eat or Heat) estimated to affect 40% of citizens
FOOD POVERTY in 2010 was estimated to be at 10%
FOOD PRICES have risen by an average of 12% in the last two years.
HOMELESSNESS up by as much as 45% in Dublin.
(from 70 in 2010 to a current estimate of as much as 101)
RETAIL SALES are down by 5.50%
SUICIDES are up in 2011 from 2010 by 7%
TRUST in the Irish Government in a recent survey fell to a mere 20%
DISSATISFACTION WITH GOVERNMENT stands at 73%
POLITICIANS are the 2nd least trusted profession in Ireland.
(Only 14% of Irish people trust politicians - I wonder why? How about 26 TDs, members of the Irish Parliament, each claimed €5,000 expenses for August - when there are no sittings of the House)
DISPOSABLE INCOME SURVEY: 1.60 million Irish have €50 or less left each month after paying for essentials. In other words, roughly 36% of the Irish population have disposable income of €600 or less per year.
DISPOSABLE INCOME in lower income groups effectively down by nearly 19%
By contrast the imbalance in incomes:
INCOME FOR TOP IRISH EARNERS is up on average by over 4%
DUBLIN CITY MANAGER salary €190,000
COUNTY MANAGERS salary €153,260
SPANISH PRIME MINISTER'S salary €78,185