In the 80s people did not have the debt levels, they have now. The unemployed in the 80s never had the worry of finding 800 euro a month, just to keep a roof over their heads.
People in the 70s and 80s had never had enough money to ever worry about losing that money.
This recession/depression is far worse than that of the 80s, simply because of the personal debt levels and the forcing of corporate debt upon ordinary people.
Before the tiger roared, people bought homes they could afford. They saved a deposit and took out an 80%/90% mortgage that was a sensible multiple of their earnings. They factored in a bit of headroom for unforeseen difficulties. They furnished their homes slowly according to their means.
Unfortunately, that sort of prudence was scorned during the boom. We no longer bought homes, we invested in property. Sensible mortgages were for dull little people. The house had to be furnished from front door to chimney pot before we could move in so we got a 30 year mortgage on the curtains and the fridge. We had to have a 100%, or higher, mortgage on top of other borrowings.
And even still there's a refusal to accept reality. Every day you'll hear some story of a mortgage that's unsustainable and how that's everyone's fault but the person who took it out and why everyone else should pay more tax, be paid less or have their pension slashed so that the borrower can keep the house.
The reason for that is because corrupt politicians, bankers and high ranking civil servants decided that bondholders in private banks are more important than Irish citizens.
Private bank debt and unemployment is the reason Ireland has a budget deficit. No other reason.
Nobody bar bankers, civil servants and corrupt politicians are to blame for the property and credit bubble that existed in this country for 15 years.
As for the workers in state bodies, they received jobs that would not have existed if they were being paid for out of actual real life profits and not with money the company received from taxes and private lenders.
Reading today that many people have dropped out of pension schemes. The same goes with health insurance. Can't pay is a far bigger problem for the Government and for us all than won't pay.
That's just the typical Irish attitude that no-one has to take personal responsibility. Those who borrowed to buy into the bubble contributed to the madness too.
Roscommon County Council’s abuse of the democratic process.
Roscommon County Council have gone a step too far in using the Register of Voters to scare people into paying the Household Charge. My office has been inundated with phone calls and emails showing the depths to which the Council Officials and the County Mayor have stooped.
Council officials have blurred the line between democracy and taxation. By getting householders to sign to confirm the details of those living in their houses, and to then produce a document outlining the implications of not paying the household charge – they leave a message, no household charge payment, no vote.
Mayor Thomas Crosby, who normally is so in tune with the voters, has undermined the office of County Mayor by putting his name to this letter. He has sullied the notion of representative democracy.
If the Mayor was a true democrat he would have nothing to do with this stunt. He knows that a true democracy keeps the register of electors clear of all extraneous matters. Above all, taxation should have nothing to do with representative democracy. Democracy is for all, young, old, rich, poor. It should stand separate form all other matters.
The people of Roscommon should continue to resist paying this unjust tax. Let no County Mayor or County Official intimidate you into paying this unjust tax.
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan TD.