John Bruton attends Rotary Club lunch
FORMER Taoiseach John Bruton was the very special guest speaker for Wexford Rotary Club's speakers lunch in the Riverbank House Hotel on Monday afternoon.
Recently appointed Chairman of the IFSC, Mr Bruton, served as EU ambassador to the United States in recent years, was warmly welcomed by the Wexford Rotarians.
Mr Bruton reflected on Ireland's economic woes, pointing out that our difficulties have been aggravated by the international credit crisis, ' but that did no more than bring to the surface an entirely home-grown series of mistakes.
'Essentially we have been borrowing too much and spending much of it on the wrong things, for the past ten years,' said Mr Bruton.
Addressing the issue of NAMA, he said that the liability of the banks will be finite, even if we do not have an exact figure yet. He reckons it will be up to 20 per cent of our GDP, but one we should be able to spread over a number of years if we manage it properly. He said of much more pressing concern is the gap between State revenue and spending, which is running at 10 per cent of our GDP every year, 'adding inexorably to the total amount we owe'.
However, Mr Bruton also pointed to many positive signs in the economy, noting that 'the fundamental human resource base of the Irish economy is stronger than ever - that is what is really important'.