IRELAND will need the type of reforms which Sweden and Finland took when they got into financial difficulties but real debate has not begun, economist Dr Constantin Gurdgiev told a meeting of the North Kildare Chamber of Commerce last Thursday, 11 November, writes Henry Bauress. The outspoken commentator, who was speaking at a Chamber lunch, said that both of these countries carried out deep structural reform privatising a large part of their State services.
“They are the most competitive economies. They do not subsidise,” he said, adding this is the type of reform Ireland will need.
Mr. Gurdgiev had some crumbs of comfort for Kildare. He said the county is wired into the Dublin economy where property prices had fallen 51 percent since their peak, compared to 42 percent in the rest of Ireland.
He said price still have to fall further. The average price of a house will be E140,000 when the housing markets hits equilibrium, he predicted.
He said that companies will not want to go to parts of rural Ireland and Kildare’s closeness to Dublin is an advantage.
Speaking about Vienna in Austria, he said a creche here costs E1,100 a month compared to E100 in Vienna. “They collect more taxes but they spend it better,” he said.
He said we were paying E2,000 a year for VHI and are still out of pocket paying for GPs. “We don’t get the benefit we should be getting in exchange for what we pay,” he said.
Mr. Gurdgiev said we still have not started to debate here what we want for the future of the economy or society.