Post-2008 Irish economic downturn
The post-2008 Irish economic downturn in the Republic of Ireland, coincided with a series of banking scandals, followed the 1990s and 2000s Celtic Tiger period of rapid real economic growth fuelled by foreign direct investment, a subsequent property bubble which rendered the real economy uncompetitive, an expansion in bank lending in the early 2000s. An initial slowdown in economic growth amid the international financial crisis of 2007–08 intensified in late 2008 and the country fell into recession for the first time since the 1980s. Emigration, as did unemployment, escalated to levels not seen since that decade; the Irish Stock Exchange general index, which reached a peak of 10,000 points in April 2007, fell to 1,987 points—a 14-year low—on 24 February 2009. In September 2008, the Irish government—a Fianna Fáil-Green coalition—officially acknowledged the country's descent into recession. Ireland was the first state in the eurozone to enter recession, as declared by the Central Statistics Office.
By January 2009, the number of people living on unemployment benefits had risen to 326,000—the highest monthly level since records began in 1967—and the unemployment rate rose from 6.5% in July 2008 to 14.8% in July 2012. The slumping economy drew 100,000 demonstrators onto the streets of Dublin on 21 February 2009, amid further talk of protests and industrial action. With the banks "guaranteed", the National Asset Management Agency established on the evening of 21 November 2010 Taoiseach Brian Cowen confirmed on live television that the EU/ECB/IMF troika would be involving itself in Ireland's financial affairs. Support for the Fianna Fáil party, dominant for much of the previous century crumbled. On 22 November, the Greens called for an election the following year; the 2011 general election replaced the ruling coalition with another one, between Fine Gael and Labour. This coalition continued with the same austerity policies of the previous coalition, as the country's larger parties all favour a similar agenda, but subsequently lost power in the 2016 General Election.
Official statistics showed a drop in most crimes coinciding with the economic downturn. Burglaries, rose by 10% and recorded prostitution offences more than doubled from 2009 to 2010. In late 2014 the unemployment rate was 11.0% on the seasonally adjusted measure, still over double the lows of the mid-2000s but down from a peak of 15.1% in early 2012. By May 2016, this figure had fallen to 7.8%. The economy of the Republic of Ireland expanded during the Celtic Tiger years due to a low corporate tax rate, low ECB interest rates, other systemic factors. At the end of the third quarter of 2010, German banks had between US$186.4 billion and $208.3 billion in total exposure to Ireland with $57.8 billion in exposure to Irish banks. This led to an expansion of credit and a property bubble which petered out in 2007. Irish banks over-exposed to the Irish property market, came under severe pressure in September 2008 due to the global financial crisis of 2007–08; the foreign borrowings of Irish banks rose from €15 billion to €110 billion in 2004-08.
Much of this was borrowed on a three-month rollover basis to fund building projects that would not be sold for several years. When the properties could not be sold due to oversupply, the result was a classic asset–liability mismatch. At the time of the bank guarantee the banks were said to be illiquid by €4 billion; the economy and government finances began to show signs of impending recession by the end of 2007 when tax revenues fell short of the 2007 annual budget forecast by €2.3 billion, with stamp duties and income tax both falling short by €0.8 billion resulting in the 2007 general government budget surplus of €2.3 billion being wiped out. An imminent recession became clear by mid-2008. Subsequently, government deficits increased, many businesses closed and unemployment increased; the Irish Stock Exchange fell and many immigrant workers left. Anglo Irish Bank was exposed to the Irish property bubble. A hidden loans controversy in December 2008 led to a further drop in its share price; the ISEQ dropped to a 14-year low on 24 September 2009 triggered by the unexpected resignation of former Anglo Irish Bank director Anne Heraty from the board of the Irish Stock Exchange the night before.
Due to the ending of the bubble, the residential and commercial property markets went into a severe slump with both sales and property values collapsing. Developers such as Liam Carroll began to fall behind on their loan repayments. Due to the financial crisis, banks such as ACC pushed for their revenue recovery and requested liquidation of the development firms; the Irish economy entered severe recession in 2008, entered into an economic depression in 2009. The Economic and Social Research Institute predicted an economic contraction of 14% by 2010. In the first quarter in 2009, GDP was down 8.5% from the same quarter the previous year, GNP down 12%. Unemployment rose from 8.75% to 11
"Celtic Tiger" is a term referring to the economy of the Republic of Ireland from the mid-1990s to the late-2000s, a period of rapid real economic growth fuelled by foreign direct investment. The boom was dampened by a subsequent property bubble. At the start of the 1990s, Ireland was a poor country by West European standards, with high poverty, unemployment and low growth; the Irish economy expanded at an average rate of 9.4% between 1995 and 2000 and continued to grow at an average rate of 5.9% during the following decade until 2008, when it fell into recession. Ireland's rapid growth has been described as a rare example of a Western country matching the growth of East Asian nations, i.e. the'Four Asian Tigers'. The economy underwent a dramatic reversal from 2008, hit hard by the European economic crisis, with GDP contracting by 14% and unemployment levels rising to 14% by 2011; the economic and financial crisis lasted until 2014. The colloquial term "Celtic Tiger" has been used to refer to the country itself, to the years associated with the boom.
The first recorded use of the phrase is in a 1994 Morgan Stanley report by Kevin Gardiner. The term refers to Ireland's similarity to the East Asian Tigers: Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan during their periods of rapid growth in the early 1960s and late 1990s. An Tíogar Ceilteach, the Irish language version of the term, appears in the Foras na Gaeilge terminology database and has been used in government and administrative contexts since at least 2005; the Celtic Tiger period has been called "The Boom" or "Ireland's Economic Miracle". During that time, the country experienced a period of economic growth that transformed it from one of Western Europe's poorer countries into one of its wealthiest; the causes of Ireland's growth are the subject of some debate, but credit has been given to state-driven economic development. By mid-2007, in the wake of the growing global financial crisis, the Celtic Tiger had all but died; some critics, such as David McWilliams, warning about impending collapse for some time, concluded: "The case is clear: an economically challenged government, perniciously influenced by the interests of the housing lobby, blew it.
The entire Irish episode will be studied internationally in years to come as an example of how not to do things."Historian Richard Aldous stated the Celtic Tiger has now gone the "way of the dodo". In early 2008, many commentators thought a soft landing was but by January 2009, it seemed possible the country could experience a depression. In early January 2009, The Irish Times, in an editorial, declared: "We have gone from the Celtic Tiger to an era of financial fear with the suddenness of a Titanic-style shipwreck, thrown from comfort luxury, into a cold sea of uncertainty." In February 2010, a report by Davy Research concluded that Ireland had "largely wasted” its years of high income during the boom, with private enterprise investing its wealth "in the wrong places". It compared Ireland's growth to other small eurozone countries such as Finland and Belgium – noting that the physical wealth of those countries exceeds that of Ireland because of their "vastly superior" transport infrastructure, telecommunications network, public services.
From 1995 to 2000, GDP growth rate ranged between 7.8 and 11.5%. During that period, the Irish GDP per capita rose to equal eventually surpass, that of all but one state in Western Europe. Although GDP does not represent the standard of living, the GNP remained lower than the GDP, in 2007, the GNP achieved the same level as of some other Western European countries'. Many economists credit Ireland's growth to a low corporate taxation rate. Since 1956, successive Irish governments have pursued low-taxation policies. Since joining the EU in 1973, Ireland has received over €17 billion in EU Structural and Cohesion Funds; these are made up of the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund and were used to increase investment in the education system and to build physical infrastructure. These transfer payments from members of the European Union, such as Germany and France, were as high as 4% of Ireland's gross national product. Ireland is unique among cohesion countries, having allocated up to 35% of its Structural Funds to human resource investments, compared with an average of around 25% for other cohesion fund recipients.
The Irish economy's increased productive capacity is sometimes attributed to these investments, which made Ireland more attractive to high-tech businesses, though the libertarian Cato Institute has suggested that the EU transfer payments were economically inefficient and may have slowed growth. The conservative Heritage Foundation attributed to transfer payments no significant role in causing growth. Ireland's membership in the EU since 1973 helped the country gain access to Europe's large markets. Ireland's trade had been predominantly with the United Kingdom. In the 1990s, the provision of subsidies and investment capital by Irish state organisations encouraged high-profile companies, such as Dell and Microsoft, to
Unite the Union
Unite the Union known as Unite, is a British and Irish trade union, formed on 1 May 2007, by the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union. With just over 1.2 million members, it is the second largest trade union in the UK. The General Secretary of Unite is Len McCluskey. On 2 July 2008, Unite signed an agreement to merge with the United Steelworkers to form a new global union entity called Workers Uniting which represents over 3 million members in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and North America. Unite retains its separate identity in the United Kingdom; as part of the merger process, a Joint Executive Council took office on the vesting day. In March 2008, a new Executive Council for the expanded Union was elected, taking office on 1 May 2008 and having a three-year term; the Executive Council was tasked with putting a new Unite rulebook to a postal ballot of members during July 2008. The rule book was accepted by a majority of members and will not be subject to amendment until a Rules Conference is held.
The first reduced unified Unite Executive Council was elected in 2011 The first single General secretary of Unite Len McCluskey was elected in December 2010 on a platform of unification and standing for one term of office only. The Unite special Rules Conference in 2010 agreed a rule change including a formula for how seats will be allocated on the UNITE Executive Council which takes office in 2011. There are a number of factions within Unite. Unite Now, A growing active movement established in 2011, "moderate left" It presents itself as an independent movement for lay members and officers. Supported Len McCluskey in his first election but they opposed the calling of an early General secretary election in 2013. Unite Now campaigns for greater transparency in the union and are critical of the unions centralised hierarchical decision making structures, they campaign for greater financial transparency, a move away from the current centralised executive powers with a more independent Executive Council which has set term limits.
Not aligned to any political section of the union it has grown in influence within lay activist ranks and key manufacturing sectors of Unite. United Left, the main left grouping, which includes supporters of the Labour Party, the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party of Britain. Supported Len McCluskey in his election. On the 9 October 2008 the executive council of Unite announced that there would be an election for the General Secretary, with a timetable of January/February 2009 for the election, the results being announced in March 2009; this election was for a fixed term until December 2010. The Executive council postponed the adoption of the new rule book and integration until May 2009; this action was taken in light of the potential success of a legal challenge to Simpson's extension of tenure by a "single member" of the union. Jerry Hicks, a former member of the union's Executive and its General Purposes and Finance Committee and unfairly dismissed convenor of Rolls Royce at Bristol, disclosed at the outset that he was the person behind the challenge.
He made the same legal challenge that Simpson deployed on his predecessor Ken Jackson. These candidates seeking nomination for the election, with their main union positions at the beginning of March 2009: Derek Simpson Jerry Hicks Laurence Faircloth Kevin Coyne Paul K. Reuter All candidates received sufficient nominations, but Laurence Faircloth stood down after nominations closed, recommending that his supporters to support Derek Simpson. A total of 159,272 voting slips were returned, out of a possible 1,096,511 voters, a turnout of 14.5%. Simpson won the election with 37.7% of the total votes cast, remained in the post of Joint General Secretary until December 2010. Following Derek Simpson & Tony Woodley's announcements that they were to retire, Len McCluskey announced his intention to seek the position of General Secretary of Unite, he secured 42.4% of the vote with 101,000 votes and was duly elected as General Secretary of Unite for a 5-year term starting 1 January 2011. The overall turnout was 15.8% In late 2012, Len McCluskey unexpectedly called an early General Secretary election saying that "Our current timescale would mean holding an election for GS just before the next General Election which would not be good for either Unite or the Labour Party, is liable to cause divisions in the union, sufficiently divisive to, at best, at worst, shatter the unity that we are creating".
On 4 March 2013, it was declared that two candidates had declared themselves to be standing in the election: Len McCluskey, who had won 1089 workplace/branch nominations, Jerry Hicks, who had won 136 nominations. This was Jerry Hicks' third successive attempt at becoming Unite's General Secretary. On 14 April 2013 it was announced that Len McCluskey had been re-elected as Unite General Secretary, whose term will now expire in 2018; the full election results were: In December 2016, incumbent General Secretary Len McCluskey announced his resignation in order to contest an election for the post, held in April 2017. McCluskey was challenged by Unite's West Midlands Regional Secretary Gerard Coyne, who accused him of "putting the Labour leadership before the interests of Unite members". Coyne, a member of the Unite Now faction, is viewed as a centre-left figure within the union, has a close relationship with the Labour Party and has the backing of the Deputy Leader Tom Watson. Ian Allinson announced that he would stand as a "grass-roots socialist" candidate.
Government of Ireland
The Government of Ireland is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in Ireland. The Constitution of Ireland vests executive authority in a government, headed by the Taoiseach, the head of government; the government is composed of government ministers, all of whom must be members of the Irish parliament. The Taoiseach must be nominated and approved by the Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas, the Irish legislature. Following the nomination of the Dáil, the President of Ireland appoints the Taoiseach to his role; the President appoints members of the government, including the Tánaiste, the deputy head of government, on nomination of the Taoiseach. The government is dependent upon the Oireachtas to make primary legislation and as such, the government needs to command a majority in the Dáil in order to ensure support and confidence for budgets and government bills to pass; the Government is known as the cabinet. The current Taoiseach is Leo Varadkar who took office on 14 June 2017.
He is the leader of the party with the highest number of seats in the Dáil. Varadkar's government is a minority coalition, made up of independent members, his Tánaiste is Simon Coveney who took office on 30 November 2017. Membership of the cabinet is regulated by Article 28 of the Constitution of Ireland and by the Ministers and Secretaries Acts 1924 to 2017; the Irish constitution requires the government to consist of between seven and fifteen members, all of whom must be a member of the Oireachtas. Since the formation of the 12th Government of Ireland in 1966, all Irish cabinets have been formed with the constitutional maximum of fifteen ministers; the total sometimes falls below this number for brief periods following the resignation of individual ministers or the withdrawal of a party from a coalition. No more than two members of the cabinet may be members of Seanad Éireann. All other members of the cabinet must be members of the house of representatives; the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Finance must be members of the Dáil.
In practice, the members of the cabinet are invariably members of the Dáil. Since the adoption of the 1937 constitution, only two ministers have been appointed from the Seanad: Seán Moylan who served in 1957 as Minister for Agriculture and James Dooge who served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1981 to 1982. Members of the government in charge of Department of State are designated Ministers of Government. For distinction, Ministers of State — informally called junior ministers — are not members of the Government, but assist the Government Ministers in their Departments. A minister without portfolio may be appointed to the Government, not the head of a Department of State. Non members have no voting rights at Cabinet but may otherwise participate and receive circulated cabinet papers on the same basis as a full member of Government. Votes are rare, with the cabinet following the Taoiseach or working by consensus; the Government is advised by the Attorney General, not formally a member of the Government, but who participates in cabinet meetings as part of their role as legal advisor to the Government.
The Chief Whip is not a member of the Government. In addition, the Government can choose other Ministers of State; this person is informally known as a "super junior minister". The current super junior ministers are Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Finian McGrath; the Government continues in office until the nomination of a new Taoiseach by Dáil Éireann. This will either be after a general election, or after the nomination of a Taoiseach during the lifetime of a Dáil term. A Dáil term may last no longer than five years by law. Most governments in recent years have served 4 to 5 years; the Government must enjoy the confidence of Dáil Éireann. If the Taoiseach ceases "to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann", either Dáil Éireann must be dissolved or the Taoiseach must resign; this applies only in cases of a no-confidence vote or loss of supply, rather than a government bill being rejected. The President may refuse to grant a dissolution to a Taoiseach who does not enjoy the support of the Dáil, thus forcing the resignation of the Taoiseach.
When the Taoiseach resigns, the entire Government is deemed to have resigned as a collective. However, in such a scenario, according to the Constitution, "the Taoiseach and the other members of the Government shall continue to carry on their duties until their successors shall have been appointed"; the Taoiseach can direct the President to dismiss or accept the resignation of individual ministers. Upon the dissolution of Dáil Éireann, ministers are no longer members of the Oireachtas, therefore at first glance ineligible for office. However, under a different clause in the Constitution, they "shall continue to hold office until their successors shall have been appointed". Unlike the cabinets in other parliamentary systems, the Government is both the de jure and de facto executive authority in Ireland. In most other parliamentary regimes, the head of state is the nominal chief executive, though bound by convention to act on the advice of the cabi
Labour Relations Commission
Labor Relations Commissions are Japanese government commissions responsible for protecting the legal rights of workers in Japan under the Constitution of Japan and the Trade Union Act of 1949. Each of the 47 prefectures of Japan has a prefectural Labor Relations Commission; the Central Labor Relations Commission is located in Tokyo. Parties dissatisfied with a decision in one of the prefectural labor commissions can appeal the Central Labor Commission, it hears cases of nationwide scale or great importance. Commissioners of the prefectural Labor Relations Commissions are appointed by the governor of the relevant prefecture, while those at the Central Labor Commission are appointed by the Prime Minister. Commissioner numbers are distributed among commissioners from union and public interest backgrounds. Labor Relations Commissions have two main functions: Making administrative decisions Adjusting labour relations While the labor commissions do have some powers to enforce decisions, they function more as forums to bring disputing parties together.
More than 70% of cases end in some form of settlement. According to the labor ministry, from 1996 to 1999, the prefectural labor commissions took around 800 days on average to investigate a case, the Central Labor Relations Commission spent 1,500 days in the reinvestigation process, it took 500 days on average to litigate labor dispute trials brought before district courts. In 2003, various reforms were discussed to speed up the process of cases. In 2005, the Trade Union Act was amended to speed up the process of labor commission cases. In 2008, during the administration of Liberal Democratic Party Prime Minister Tarō Asō the government's devolution panel recommended abolishing the Central Labor Relations Commission and only retaining the prefectural labor relations commissions; the proposal was not adopted. The National Railway Workers' Union affiliated to the National Trade Union Council has filed many labor relations commission cases against JR East regarding various types of unfair labor practices.
A group of 23 petitions filed after 1991 alleged that 1,800 union members in six prefectures had been discriminated against in violation of article seven of the Trade Union Act of 1949. Local labor relations commissions recognized discrimination in three prefectures, an order for redress was issued; the company appealed this to the Central Labour Relations Commission in Tokyo. The Central Labour Relations Commission brokered a deal, in 2005, Kokuro withdrew the 23 cases claiming anti-union discrimination against its members. In return the company paid compensation estimated at 360 million yen. Central Labor Relations Commission
Corporatism is a political ideology which advocates the organization of society by corporate groups, such as agricultural, military, scientific, or guild associations on the basis of their common interests. The idea is that when each group performs its designated function, society will function harmoniously — like a human body from which its name derives. Corporatist ideas have been expressed since Ancient Greek and Roman societies, with integration into Catholic social teaching and Christian democracy political parties, they have been paired by various advocates and implemented in various societies with a wide variety of political systems, including authoritarianism, fascism and socialism. Corporatism may refer to economic tripartism involving negotiations between labour and business interest groups and the government to establish economic policy; this is sometimes referred to as neo-corporatism and is associated with social democracy. Kinship-based corporatism emphasizing clan and family identification has been a common phenomenon in Africa and Latin America.
Confucian societies based upon families and clans in East Asia and Southeast Asia have been considered types of corporatism. China has strong elements of clan corporatism in its society involving legal norms concerning family relations. Islamic societies feature strong clans which form the basis for a community-based corporatist society. Family businesses are common worldwide in capitalist societies. In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church sponsored the creation of various institutions including brotherhoods, religious orders and military associations during the Crusades, to sponsor association between these groups. In Italy, various function-based groups and institutions were created, including universities, guilds for artisans and craftspeople and other professional associations; the creation of the guild system is a important aspect of the history of corporatism because it involved the allocation of power to regulate trade and prices to guilds, an important aspect of corporatist economic models of economic management and class collaboration.
In 1881, Pope Leo XIII commissioned theologians and social thinkers to study corporatism and provide a definition for it. In 1884 in Freiburg, the commission declared that corporatism was a "system of social organization that has at its base the grouping of men according to the community of their natural interests and social functions, as true and proper organs of the state they direct and coordinate labor and capital in matters of common interest". Corporatism is related to the sociological concept of structural functionalism. Corporatism's popularity increased in the late 19th century and a corporatist internationale was formed in 1890, followed by the publishing of Rerum novarum by the Catholic Church that for the first time declared the Church's blessing to trade unions and recommended for organized labour to be recognized by politicians. Many corporatist unions in Europe were endorsed by the Catholic Church to challenge the anarchist and other radical unions, with the corporatist unions being conservative in comparison to their radical rivals.
Some Catholic corporatist states include Austria under the leadership of Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss and Ecuador under the leadership of Garcia Moreno. The economic vision outlined in Rerum novarum and Quadragesimo anno influenced the regime of Juan Perón and Justicialism. In response to the Roman Catholic corporatism of the 1890s, Protestant corporatism was developed in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. However, Protestant corporatism has been much less successful in obtaining assistance from governments than its Roman Catholic counterpart. Ancient Greece developed early concepts of corporatism. Plato developed the concept of a totalitarian and communitarian corporatist system of natural-based classes and natural social hierarchies that would be organized based on function, such that groups would cooperate to achieve social harmony by emphasizing collective interests while rejecting individual interests. In Politics, Aristotle described society as being divided along natural classes and functional purposes that were priests, rulers and warriors.
Ancient Rome adopted Greek concepts of corporatism into their own version of corporatism but added the concept of political representation on the basis of function that divided representatives into military and religious groups and created institutions for each group known as colegios. See collegium. Absolute monarchies during the late Middle Ages subordinated corporatist systems and corporate groups to the authority of centralized and absolutist governments, resulting in corporatism being used to enforce social hierarchy. After the French Revolution, the existing absolutist corporatist system was abolished due to its endorsement of social hierarchy and special "corporate privilege" for the Roman Catholic Church; the new French government considered corporatism's emphasis on group rights as inconsistent with the government's promotion of individual rights. Subsequently corporatist systems and corporate privilege throughout Europe were abolished in response to the French Revolution. From 1789 to the 1850s, most supporters of corporatism were reactionaries.
A number of reactionary corporatists favoured corporatism in order to end liberal capitalism and restore the feudal system. From the 1850s onward, progressive corporatism developed in response to classical liberalism and Marxism; these corporatists supported providing group rights to members of the middle classes and working classes in order to secure cooperation among the classes. This was in opposition to the M
Department of the Taoiseach
The Department of the Taoiseach is the government department of the Taoiseach of Ireland. It is based in Government Buildings, the headquarters of the Government of Ireland, on Merrion Street in Dublin; the Department was created in 1937, simultaneous with the new Constitution replacing the Irish Free State's 1922 Constitution. The Department replaced the Department of the President of the Executive Council, just as the office of Taoiseach replaced the office of President of the Executive Council; the civil servant who heads the Department of the Taoiseach is known as the Secretary General of the Department and serves as the Cabinet Secretary. Taoiseach: Leo Varadkar, TD Minister of State: Seán Kyne, TD, Government Chief Whip Minister of State at the Department of Defence: Paul Kehoe, TD Minister of State for Trade, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection: Pat Breen, TD Secretary General of the Department: Martin Fraser, the Secretary General to the Government and thus the country's most senior civil servant.
The main role of the Department is to support and advise the Taoiseach in carrying out various duties. The Department supplies administrative support to the Government Chief Whip in respect of his duties and provides the Secretariat to the Government; the Department has a pivotal role in acting as a link between the President, the Taoiseach and other Departments of State. In addition, the Department of the Taoiseach is involved in a number of other areas such as the development and co-ordination of policy in relation to economic and social development, Northern Ireland, the European Union and Oireachtas reform, it arranges State functions such as the annual National Day of Commemoration, Presidential inaugurations, State dinners and provides a protocol service to the Taoiseach of the day. Official website