Explain the change in Government objectives between mid 2005 /2007 and now and how has this affected Government policy This essay looks at the change in Government objectives between mid 2005/2007 and now and critically assesses how this has affected Government Policy. The stunning economic performance known as the Celtic Tiger was in its tenth year in 2005. Peter Sweeny uses the quote from W.B Yeats when he said after the 1916 Rising which led to Irish Independence “all’s changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty is born”. Sweeny tells us that with the Irish economic boom, all’s changed utterly, the outcome is celebrated by virtually everyone and the beauty is far from terrible. (Sweeny 2008). However Sweeny was still basking in the glow of Ireland’s economic success as his book was written in 2007. The recent Global economic downturn has impacted hard on the small open Irish economy necessitating major changes in Government policy to be implemented swiftly and decisively. However is a case of too little too late? Will the people of Ireland accept these changes in light of government mismanagement and in some cases out and out wastefulness? This essay argues that Ireland in 2005 was in a unique position to protect itself against the potential or expected downturn in Global economic fortunes however government objectives and subsequent policy decisions did not reflect this. This is not to say that there would have been no effect on Ireland; however this essay attempts to outline the areas where changes in policy decisions may have supported a faster economic recovery in Ireland’s case. The essay begins by outlining the economic reality in 2005 - 2007 and now in terms of growth rates, GNP, GDP figures, Unemployment statistics, Global competitive reports and other pertinent statistics. It then reviews government objectives and policies during this period. In exploring this information the essay critically examines government objectives and policy and seeks to highlight where policy contributed to the downturn in Irish fortunes and what changes could have been implemented to help negate this transformation. According the National Bureau of Economic Research (the official arbiter of recessions) the current recession began in December 2007. The NBER is a private group of leading economists charged with dating the start and end of economic downturns. ( money.cnn.com). Ireland in 2005 had a vastly different economic landscape than the one we see today. Ireland’s economic growth in GDP terms had exceeded all other countries in the previous decade as can be seen from the following graph depicting a selection of countries as measured against Ireland.
Figure GDP Growth 1995 -2005 (Sweeny 2008: Source OECD in figures 2006) National Income and Expenditure Annual Results for 2005 which give us detailed national accounts for 2005 show that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 5.5% in constant prices while Gross National Product (GNP) increased by 5.4% compared with 2004. The figures for 2004/2005 are shown in the following table. GDP and GNP 2004 -2005
GDP at Current Prices
GDP at Constant Prices
GNP at Current Prices
GNP at Constant prices
Figure GDP and GNP 2004-2005 (CSO 2006, National Income &Expenditure 2005) In 2005 Ireland’s GNP measured against other countries was ranked 35th in the world. (Students of the world.info 2005) In the statistical yearbook for Ireland 2006 the following statistics help to paint the picture of the economic and...