Wednesday, 23 September 2015

My second published article: Sinn Féin’s opposition to austerity measures is misguided From: The Irish News 23/09/15

My second published article:
Sinn Féin’s opposition to austerity measures is misguided
From: The Irish News 23/09/15
Sinn Féin has been endlessly protesting against welfare cuts and other austere measures being imposed in Northern Ireland in recent months. As a result, the assembly has been in gridlock, unable to decide on a budget. The irony of this is that, as a result of austerity, the economy of the Republic has seen a resurgence of what some economists see as a return of the ‘Celtic Tiger’. 
The Times reported that Ireland is on track to achieve a 6 per cent economic expansion this year. Ireland’s economy was shattered by a property crash in 2008 which resulted in it requiring a €67.5 billion bailout, first by the European Union and then, two years later, by the International Monetary Fund. 
As a result, between the first austerity budget in 2008 and last year’s budget, Ireland had to make gargantuan spending cuts, €35 billion to be exact, equivalent to 20 per cent GDP, along with imposing tax increases. However, austerity appears to have worked for Ireland; in 2014 Ireland’s economy was the fastest-growing economy of the 28 EU member states and is predicted to top the charts again this year. 
Austerity also appears to have been beneficial in the rest of the UK.  Unemployment has reached a seven-year low; the UK is the fastest growing major economy in 2015. On top of this the European Central Bank has stated that austerity does work, pointing at Ireland and Spain as examples of the benefits of the austere measures imposed. 
The citizens of the Republic set a good example in how to deal with austerity; there were no violent protests. The Irish, since their economic conundrum, have accepted austerity relatively peacefully with no major protests against the budgets at the time - unlike the tumultuous response seen in Belfast, London and other major European cities. This is partly because the Irish public acknowledge that they were partly to blame for the recession in Ireland. They remember that when they point the finger at the government, banks and corporations, three fingers point back at them.
The Irish understand that they cannot have their cake and eat it and that austerity was not a nefarious weapon to punish the country but a necessary penance to get the economy back on its feet. 
It seems illogical that Sinn Féin would want to stop the British government implying austere measures in Northern Ireland as austerity is evidenced to work, not only in the rest of the United Kingdom, but also in the Republic. Since Sinn Féin are nationalists and want a united Ireland, why would they not want to employ measures in the north which have benefited its southern counterpart?


  1. This isn't a "published article", this is a letter to the editor.

    1. Hello you little green eyed monster.

    2. And actually it is! I oringinally sent it in as a an opinion piece. The editor emailed me telling me they read it with interest but unfortanly they wern't looking for new contributors to that section at present. So they suggested to put it in the letters to the editor.
      It is a article and it was published thus it is a "published article". *
      rolls eyes*


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