Economic vision or sleepwalking to 2020?


Sir, – The publication of the Government’s medium-term economic strategy is a depressing reminder that when it comes to long-term strategic planning this country appears to be sleepwalking to the next crisis (Front page, December 18th).

Instead of a clear and considered direction that gives the necessary leadership and guidance, we get the usual empty rhetoric that is more akin to a party political broadcast. Without a real debate on Irish economic development are we running the risk of being known as serial underperformers. – Yours, etc,


Senior Lecturer in


Programme Director, MA


Department of Economics,

University College Cork.

Sir, – So, having used GDP as a key economic index throughout the boom, the ESRI appears to have switched to GNP because multinational profits are faltering (Home News, December 18th).

Does that mean that, to be consistent, we should also use debt/GNP (currently 151 per cent) rather than than Debt/GDP (124 per cent) as a key index and do we start measuring per capita prosperity using GNP (€29,600) rather than GDP (€36,900) . –Yours, etc,


Ardmeen Park,

Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Does our Taoiseach not see how unfair he is to himself in lining up 2020 full employment as the economic achievement on which his competence will be judged?

To so see, he has only to focus on the tiny economic microcosm that is his own Castlebar area. After serving as a TD for close on 40 years he has failed to so achieve for it. With elementary economic insight his focusing would tell him that the batch of factors that caused that result for Castlebar will continue to do so, and to do likewise for our economy overall.

Similar unfairness was displayed recently by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin when he faulted the Government for not providing jobs for all our young people. He has only to look at the Ballyfermot or Drumcondra area, say, to see the same batch of factors at work. – Yours, etc,


Sandford Road,

Ranelagh, Dublin 6.