From dipped toes to Dicey Reilly's woes
Still under discussion, said the Minister for Finance. Nobody bothered to question him further.
Nama got another tired outing – because you have to.
Noonan isn’t mad about Nama, but what’s a guy to do? It’s there now. And he reminded everyone what he said during the general election when asked if he intended to tinker with the agency.
“I said it’s very hard to unscramble an egg.”
He still thinks Nama is the Humpty Dumpty of the Irish economy.
At one stage, a journalist asked him what Ireland’s bottom line would be in the debt write-down negotiations.
“You mustn’t ever have been at the fair of Glin or sold a calf!” he drawled at the mortified hack, as we had visions of our eventual deal with the ECB being sealed with a spit.
The one bad mark from the troika review was in relation to overspending in the health service. “I don’t want to exaggerate it,” stressed Brendan Howlin. “The pressure point in health has been identified.”
Which brought the plight of Not-So-Poor Aul Dicey Reilly to mind. Did the Ministers have full confidence in the Minister for Health following his appearance in Stubbs Gazette?
Of course they did. So much so, they supported James Reilly in both English and Irish.
It was the highlight of a briefing that was almost as mind-numbing as Dr Debt’s Dáil statement the night before.
That, and the strong smell of toast in the conference centre.
What with everything on track and toes being dipped, we hoped it wasn’t an omen.
Ireland's report card main observations of review
Among the troika’s main observations were:
Fiscal targets for the first half of 2012 were met, and the budget deficit is on track to be within the 8.6 per cent of GDP target for 2012.
Ongoing household balance-sheet repair and the still-weak labour market are hindering growth in domestic demand.
Ireland’s budget deficit remains the largest in the euro area, and it is essential that the authorities maintain prudent control of expenditure, including in health care. The ratification of the Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance, and forthcoming legislation to implement the treaty, will strengthen Ireland’s fiscal framework.
Ireland’s unemployment remains very high, and generating growth and jobs on a sustainable basis remains a critical priority.
Timely establishment of the Personal Insolvency Bill and “other necessary infrastructure” will be important.