Our problems in perspective


Sir, – Congratulations to Kathy Sheridan for putting into “perspective” the Irish scene a decade or so after the collapse (“Opinion and Analysis”, September 19th).

There is a difference if you are Apple Inc or if you are waiting for a bed in a hospital or have problems getting accommodation for yourself or your family.

But a very good perspective is to compare ourselves with Greece which went bust at the same time.

In 2010, when both countries were bailed out, it would be an understatement to say that both countries were in trouble.

Given the size of both economies, however, international figures show that the difference between what the government of Ireland overspent relative to what they were getting in taxes was three times worse than the Greek government overspend.

Currently in relation to housing and health, which are seen as problems in Ireland, we are actually in a much better position than Greece.

On health per capita, we spend €5,500, while Greece spends €2,200 per capita.

The relative position on housing is reflected in the fact that on average Irish citizens spend a much lower proportion of their income on housing.

When we individually have health or housing problems we are not interested in “perspective”.

But it does help to look at our problems relative to those of our neighbours. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.