There’s no doubt about it: Ireland’s economy is absolutely flying. Being honest, the bounce-back has been stronger than many of us would have dared dream during the dark days of 2009-2011.
Sure, the amount of stuff Ireland produces every year may be growing at a faster clip than China. But while the economic recovery has been going from strength to strength, the social and rural recoveries still lag behind.
That’s why the looming election is so important. It’s not just about ‘securing the (economic) recovery’, but about making sure everyone gets to share in this renewed prosperity. It means spreading the benefits to every town and village across the country. And, it means doing more to raise the living standards of those no longer young or able enough to work. It also means getting more people into jobs and making sure fewer kids grow up in poverty or in a house without a working parent to lead by example. It’s about electing people that can make progressive change happen – not more hurlers on the ditch.
Crucially, we need to keep the jobs recovery going. Creating more and better jobs will be key to keep unemployment falling, to accelerate the rise in wages, and to make sure every worker has the right to be represented by a recognised trade union. It’s also a ‘win win’ way to reduce inequality.