One theme I've been tracking over some time now is the longer-term state liabilities.
Here's a note from Fitch on the matter:
"Without the implementation of mitigating reforms the median country analysed in our new report today is projected to see its budget worsen by 0.6% of GDP by 2020 and 4.9% of GDP by 2050. Consequently, many of these countries would experience escalating government debt-to-GDP ratios, with the average EU27 debt-to-GDP projected by Fitch to rise by 6.9% by 2020 and 119.4% by 2050."
"According to the model, Japan, Ireland and Cyprus face the largest jump in ageing costs over the next decade..."
Here's a summary table:
And a chart summarising policy pressures:
Guess how we are doing in terms of mitigating pensions pressures? Oh, not too well to begin with and are getting worse:
So what measures does Fitch list as Ireland's mitigation means so far planned?
"Tax relief on private pension contributions; Abolition of exemption from contribution to public pension scheme for low-wage earners; Pension levy on public sector wages; Reduction in pension tax privileges. Eligibility age for various pension schemes increased."