Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist for the World Bank and probably the world’s best-known economist, has echoed Sinn Féin’s view that the current recovery is not a fair one as inequality is rising and that there danger signs of new bubbles being created.
Stiglitz, a Noble prize winner, was reported as saying that the mood in Ireland was ‘partly delusional’ and said: “The Irish are a little bit like Americans in terms of optimism.”
He went on to express that although the economic situation is deemed to have improved, he notes that some Irish acquaintances of his are not back to their previous standard of living and that he was not convinced there was enough stability to see ‘there is a strong underlying basis for sustainable growth’.
Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin’s Dáil spokesperson on Finance, said the government should be listening to Professor Stiglitz.
“The Nobel prize winner agrees that austerity was both unnecessary and damaging economically, including to the Irish economy. Joseph Stiglitz is a renowned economist and voice we should listen to,” the Donegal South–West TD says.
“He makes the same points we in Sinn Féin have been making. Austerity damaged the economy. It deepened unfairness and inequality in Ireland which means that the recovery is passing most people by. And current policies are storing up future problems, such as the house price bubble without building new homes.”
Earlier this month, Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan and his government were accused of having ‘disdain’ for the poor after he claimed that some people on the dole who would never take up jobs because they were ‘allergic to work’.
Deputy Doherty went on to blast this apparent ‘lazy narrative’ of the government who should listen to the economist’s concerns.
“The government need to listen to the likes of Professor Stiglitz instead of pandering to demands from people who contributed to the crash and now want a return to the unsustainable Mc Creevy model. Following their poor showing in Carlow/Kilkenny Fine Gael and Labour need to reassess their irresponsible plans for Budget 2016 and instead start taking seriously commentators and economists who are not content to fall into the lazy narrative of this government.”