Celtic tiger

Keeping House Prices Sky High in Ireland

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The self congratulatory waffle of business men, the press and politicians continues even though we are hearing a lot less about the “Celtic Tiger”. After almost fifteen years of economic boom we are able to look around and think about what we are left with. Access to decent and affordable housing, one of the most fundamental issues effecting working class people, is an impossibility for many of us. For most young people growing up in Ireland today the possibility of owning a house is outside our reach and keeps us at the mercy of rack renting landlords.

Fianna Fail to Perform Miracle of Full Employment

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Seamus Brennan is a little man in many ways, but one thing he dislikes is not being in the limelight. So in this election year, the Social Affairs minister has decided to drive the last 150,000 people from the live register of the unemployed. Like some figure from the old testament Seamie will perform the miracle of full employment to prove his worth, He will drive the unemployed into the arms of the awaiting super exploitative bosses.

The inflation con - demand pay increases

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Isn't the Celtic Tiger great! This year's pay increase, under the Programme for Prosperity & Fairness, is 5.5%. As we go to press inflation is 6.2%, and rising. When the economy was in recession we were told to tighten our belts so that the economy could recover. Now that it is booming we are being told to accept what is actually a pay cut, in order to keep it booming.

The people behind the housing crisis in Ireland

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After six years of massive house price increases it is now almost impossible for the average worker to buy a house in Ireland. Average house prices in Ireland rose from 11.3 times the average income in 1989 to 18.2 times income in 1999. The increases in rent and house prices have, for many workers, completely wiped out any gain made from tax cuts in our take home pay. And for the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the working class the housing crisis is becoming a disaster as the rapidly growing number of young people sleeping on the streets demonstrates.

The Celtic Tiger - Is This As Good As It Gets? - overview from 1999

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The Celtic Tiger is special. It differs from our European neighbours in a number of ways. Firstly, since 1993 it has had an average annual growth rate greater than 8%, that makes it one of the fastest growing economies in the western world. Secondly, while in Europe employment in manufacturing has decreased, in Ireland it has to proved to be one of the main areas of growth. Employment growth is double that of the US and four times that of the EU. The economy is growing, more people are in work.Where has this economic success come from? Much of it is due to the Tiger's ability to attract foreign investment. In the last two decades the amount of money available for global production has multiplied. In 1996 it was estimated that $3,200 billion was available for foreign direct investment. This is the money that the Celtic Tiger has been eager to attract. Ireland has received 40% of all American investment in European electronics since 1980.

What a wonderful world we live in!

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IF EVER YOU'VE felt doubts about why you are so against the capitalist system, just read the latest United Nations Human Development Report (or at least the media synopsis of it - see Irish Times 9/9/98). You may have known that there is inequality in the world, that the rich always seem to look after themselves and the poor just simply get poorer all the time. But are you aware of just how unequal the distribution of wealth actually is? Even for a battle-hardened campaigner against inequality and injustice like myself, the figures are quite horrifying.

The Celtic Tiger .......who's doing the roaring?

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The closure of Seagate in Clonmel with the loss of 1,600 jobs underlines the knife-edge on which the Celtic Tiger economy is balanced. But, particularly in the greater Dublin area, there is an economic boom and for many - though not all - this boom has brought jobs and hope for the future. Where did this boom come from and how long will it last?

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