Dublin Council of Trade Unions

Reason 7: They’re Running our Public Services into the Ground

There’s a myth, promoted by the austerity orthodoxy, that we spend too much on our public services.  The fact is we spend far below the average of other EU-15 countries.[1]

On a per capita basis, we spend 23 percent less on public services (health, education, police, local authority, recreation, etc.) than the average of other EU-15 countries.  We’d have to increase spending on public services by €8 billion just to reach the average of other EU-15 countries.

If we compare ourselves (as the IMF does) with countries with a similar economy to ours – small, open, heavily reliant on exports – we’d have to spend an incredible €18 billion just to reach their average.

The Government claims we must make do with less.  They intend to continue cutting public services up to 2015.  When will they learn – cutting public services is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem:  the problem of low growth, high unemployment and high debt.

[1] EU Commission Projections for 2013 expenditure; numbers based on arithmetic average.

Download PDF here: Reason 7 Public Services


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