Michael Burke: The British Tory Party have expressed open admiration for the policies pursued in Ireland by the Fianna Fail government. While the entire G20 engaged in fiscal reflation in 2009, only Ireland adopted a contractionary fiscal policy.
Partly as a result, there is a growing interest in Britain in those policies. Meanwhile, letters have been exchanged in the leading newspapers by different groups of economists as to the merits of rapidly adopting contractionary policies which, so far, are unique to Ireland. There is therefore a growing interest in Britain in the nature and impact of recent Irish economic policy. This was the explicit reason for a BBC radio interview with Martin Mansergh which was aired on Sunday morning. The interview is here, almost exactly 15 minutes into the broadcast.
There is perhaps a less-than-commanding grasp of ther government's actual measures, and the degree of levity displayed may disappoint some. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the interview was the claim that we were fortunate in the timing of the crisis, which gave us until 2012 to face the electorate. Fortune is clearly a relative term.