Ireland’s reputation restored

Ireland’s success in adhering to the “remarkably large fiscal adjustment” in the bailout programme has done much to repair the country’s reputation internationally, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has said.

In its report Ireland’s Five-Part Crisis, Five Years On: Deepening Reform and Institutional Innovation – NESC said: “There has been a significant recovery of cost competitiveness, an improvement in export growth [since 2010] and GDP growth [from 2011] and FDI has been sustained.”

It cited a number of positive indicators for 2013, including improvements in consumer spending, investment, full-time employment, yields on Government bonds and exchequer returns.

“The rate at which mortgages are falling into arrears is declining, even though the numbers are very significant,” it said.

However, the report found that several years of stronger employment growth are needed if full employment is to be achieved and if net migration is to be reduced.

NESC, which advises the Department of the Taoiseach on strategic issues regarding economic and social development, said while progress has been made, there was limited recovery due to a number of international and domestic pressures.

“These include European and global economic fragility, the balance-sheet nature of the recession and the collapse in investment,” it said.

The report, which was welcomed by the Government, reflected NESC’s belief that the journey to find a way through Ireland’s banking, fiscal, economic, social and reputational crises has highlighted the fact that strategies and policies can only be provisional starting points.

Good systems for monitoring success and failure and institutional arrangements capable of review and policy adaptation are crucial, it said.

“Reflection on, and reform of, the evolving processes of policy-making, monitoring, delivery and review needs to go further and be more encompassing,” it added. Source: The Irish Times