Lockdown debt means our children will pay dearly

There is surely a day of reckoning coming, when economic mistakes will meet debt-servicing demands, and it’s not going to be pretty.

The Irish government has now pushed the country towards a quarter of a trillion euros in national debt following their decision to lock us down for the best part of a year, plugging the gap with unprecedented levels of social welfare payments.

The extra spending, lost tax revenue and debt burden caused by their decision to prevent us from working is so far thought to be in the region of €19 billion.

Keynesian economists will say not to worry, that we can grow our way out of the debt by increasing our GDP and making the national debt a smaller percentage of it.

The problem of course is that we are beholden to economic decisions made elsewhere, and a collapse, like what happened the Lehman Brothers, or a flight of multinationals following tax changes in the US, would scupper any possibility of returning to a semblance of economic health.

In the meantime however the real-life consequences of unemployment and drastically reduced economic opportunities means younger people will pick up most of the tab for the current government’s policies.

For instance, consider the difficulty experienced by those who worked in the hospitality sector and had to postpone saving for a deposit because their pandemic unemployment payment barely covers their rent and food bills.

The same scenario is being experienced by workers and small business owners in several sectors who have been robbed of their livelihoods by this government.

From 22 per cent in 2011, home ownership among 25-39 year-olds is now reported to be only 12 per cent, a staggering drop in the space of ten years.

The economic policies that caused this contraction prior to the lockdown have now been compounded by an even more damaging groupthink in favour of lockdowns and unadulterated praise for our brave leaders, in media circles at least.

One can reasonably expect harsh austerity measures are not far away after this year of largesse however, as the country mimics a dog going back to its vomit.

It seems likely that the young people of Ireland will make the government parties pay for what they have done, but don’t expect Sinn Féin to lift their fortunes in the longterm.

A party that still subscribes to Chavista ideals won’t last long when the debt bubble bursts.

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