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Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Response to the Lesley Riddoch programme today at 11.05-11.30 about why the Irish economy outperforms ours

Thanks that was pretty neat.

The introduction,particularly, deserved a BAFTA "Listener Neil Craig this is what you asked for - Ireland has been growing at up to 9% a year whereas we manage about 1.5%. Clearly they are doing something better than us & it might be worth saying what" - of course I may be biased.

Clearly I would have wished to see the entire programme taken up with everybody repeating low business taxes work but I can see that after 20 minutes that might wear.

The fact that the best your Scottish government representative could come up with was to say repeatedly that our big companies represent a larger proportion of our economy than Ireland's, shows how desperate he was. That is actually a bad thing since small companies are historically proportionately much more innovative than large ones (Nokia & Microsoft started as small companies) & also because big companies can move to eastern Europe more easily & when a big one folds the reverberations are so much bigger.

We need more start ups but to do that we need to have starting up a new company financially rewarding, at least moreso than joining the civil service.

How about asking someone like Ivor Tiefenbrun of Linn Electronics in some time to get his opinion of the Scot Executive attitude to business. (You may prefer to record it since he will not be gentle)

You asked if the Finns are beating us all. Despite the fact that the Finns have an extremely good educational system, are always at the top of the listing of the world's least corrupt countries, & have very low barriers to competition the Finns aren't beating the lot of us by much but the Estonians are - they both speak basically the same language but the Estonians have lower business tax.

Neil Craig

It isn't exactly rocket science. Look at what works and copy it.

We have a lazy, fat, corporist Labour hegemony in Scotland. They prefer ideology to the real world.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume that the Irish Republic must have given up its dire old ways and adopted O'Thatcherism?
I think they managed considerably better thna she ever did.

This may be in part because Ireland's politics never ran on the left/right axis but only on whose side each others grandfathers had been in the civil war. This may have made consensus much easier.
Also the fact that Ireland was never industrialized, so they did not have that heritage to unshackle themselves from.
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