Three charts to illustrate the extent of Ireland's debt problem... that's right, the one that has not gone away with all the recovery talk.
Let's start in the happy days of 2007, when Irish Government's sustainable debt per capita was running at EUR10,775 and we ranked 11th most indebted nation (on per capita basis) in the today's EA18.
And fast-forward to 2014, when, based on the IMF projections, our Government debt per capita will amount to an eye-watering 'sustainable' EUR42,469 ranking us a run-away 1st in the debt load:
Needless to say, this record should have propelled us to the top of the league of EA18 nations in terms of debt increases during the crisis. And it did:
In Census 2011 (see here: http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/census/documents/census2011profile5/Profile,5,Households,and,Families,full,doc,sig,amended.pdf) the average household size in Ireland was 2.7 persons, implying that Government debt alone amounts today to EUR114,666, before the mortgage and other debts kick in. And when I say before, I mean it : the Government has priority over all other claims on income, including food and shelter.
So how do you feel now when you think of the Budget 2015 measure to ease the burden of DIRT on families saving for the downpayment on house purchase? Lavished by the warmth of a caring Government, undoubtedly...