Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

September 2010

Overcoming our shyness, or how education could be a €4bn export business

Last week, the Government announced its strategy for Education as an Export. This post reviews that strategy and finds its key objectives sadly unspecific. It looks at the data that exists and finds that Ireland needs to break into non-Anglo-Saxon markets – particularly the Middle East. More ambitious targets could bring a significant boost to the economy, including 8,500 new jobs across a range of sectors and using 6 million square metres of currently vacant commercial property. Read more

Could the Croke Park deal come back to haunt the Government?

This post examines whether the Government’s pledge to reduce the deficit to 4% of GDP by 2014 is consistent with its promise not to cut its workers’ rates of pay. The chief concern is that, with tax receipts unlikely to grow by more than 10% over the coming five years, an adjustment in expenditure of €10bn – needed to meet EU (and thus market) expectations – will have to come from non-pay expenditure. No matter which way the numbers are cut, with public sector pay off limits, this is a tall order. Read more

Putting “light touch” regulation back on the agenda

“Light touch” regulation is now seen as one of the primary contributors to the recent global recession. This post makes the case for true “light touch” regulation – as opposed to simply bad legislation – and warns that this distinction should not be forgotten, as governments attempt to learn from the recession. Not only is light touch not part of the problem, it’s a key part of the solution, if EU estimates of a stimulus of €150bn from reducing red-tape by 25% are anything to go by. Read more