Questioning the thinking of an economic think tank…

Just a quick thought…

This week, Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) issued some cautious growth figures for the Irish economy in its quarterly economic review.

In its commentary the ESRI warned that weak economic growth in the UK and the United States could impact on Ireland’s recovery because they were two of our largest export markets.

But what was picked up on by the media for the most part was the ESRI’s belief that €4 billion and not €3.6 billion should be cut in the coming budget in December.

So used to dealing in billions, some would probably think it’s no big thing. Even the leader of Fianna Fáil agreed in amidst trying to save his leadership of the main opposition party .

However, that’s €400 million, a lot of money. Predictably it has drawn the ire of the trade unions.

But what is most interesting and indeed a bit confusing is that the ESRI calls for more cuts yet warns of the effects of weak growth in the UK, weak growth largely considered to be a result of the epic slashing of budgets and spending being carried out by Chancellor George Osborne.

Although he wouldn’t say that himself. He’s so far blamed the weather, the royal family, the last government and Jedward* for weak economic growth, or practically none at all.

Now of course, economic circumstances in both countries are much different but Ireland, domestically at least, is seeing its economy growing just as the UK’s was before Osborne made his first round of budget cuts.

Surely to institute even more cuts than we already need to as mandated by the EU/IMF would be fallacy. Not least because of what we can all see is happening with “them across the water” to quote Aprés Match.

You would have thought the ESRI might have seen that itself but then again, wasn’t it the think tank which said something about a “soft landing”

* No, not really.