Sunday, 16 September 2012

Irish people one of 'most indebted' in world

Economists say the high level of household debt highlighted by the IMF is blocking Ireland's hopes of economic recovery.

In its latest review of Ireland's bailout, the IMF outlines the challenges posed by high household debt levels, a lack of lending to small businesses and long-term unemployment.

It also proposes cutting unemployment payments and the minimum wage as a means to get people back to work.

Dr Stephen Kinsella, senior lecturer in economics at the University of Limerick, says the scale of Ireland's household debt crisis is unprecedented.

“The ratio of household debt to disposable income in Ireland is higher than Spain, the UK and USA by a factor of 10.

“It’s pretty grim reading, they show that we’re some of the most indebted people in the world and show it is much harder to stabilise our economy.”

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