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Economists urge restraint Back  
Following the publication this month of OECD statistics that show Ireland’s tax take as a percentage of GDP rising among the fastest in the OECD area last year, a panel of Ireland’s leading economists polled in this month’s FINANCE urges spending restraint, particularly in current expenditure. The OECD tax study shows that tax as a percentage rose by over 1 percentage point of GDP last year, rolling back over a quarter of the progress achieved in Ireland in reducing tax as a percentage of GDP over the past fifteen years.

But, responding to a survey in this month’s issue, Ireland’s leading financial services economists are keen that the Minister shouldn’t abandon the country’s infrastructure programme and that some borrowing isn’t necessarily a ‘bad thing’.

Possible Government intervention - or lack thereof - in the property market is also on the agenda, and while some economists say that the Government shouldn’t engage in artificially propping up either house prices or building activity, the majority argue that intervention is necessary, with timing a key consideration. See also pages 4,5.

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