Would we be better off if McCreevy had remained as MOF instead of Biffo?

ellie08

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Canny McCreevy saved for rainy day - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

In fairness to McCreevy, he did think ahead and set up the National Pension Reserve Fund (which his buddies will now use to 'save the Banks'). We saw rapid growth during his time as Finance Minister. Was he as bad as we first thought? Would he have been better than Biffo? I think he couldn't have been any worse.

"He maintained a significant surplus during his seven years in Finance by forecasting tax takes which were lower than average. He simultaneously implemented a tax-cutting programme, major increases in health, education and pension spending as well as increasing investment in infrastructural development to 5% of GNP. " (from Wikipedia)
 


basketcase

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He also failed to act on recommendations in the Bacon Report which would have cooled down the already overheating property market and removed measures which were already put in place to do so and were beginning to take effect.

His view was that the government had no place interfering in the free market.....do you still think we'd be better off if he stayed on as Minister for Finance??

He lit the fuse and Biffo sat in the rocket that steered us into the Economic Wasteland we find ourselves in imo.
 

Dunlin3

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Maybe, at least he made decisons, many stupid ones like decentralisation. Biffo on the other hand is a ditherer like Bertie and has done very liitle in all his time in politics apart from being at the helm when the ship went down
 

Tomas Mor

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He also failed to act on recommendations in the Bacon Report which would have cooled down the already overheating property market and removed measures which were already put in place to do so and were beginning to take effect.

His view was that the government had no place interfering in the free market.....do you still think we'd be better off if he stayed on as Minister for Finance??

He lit the fuse and Biffo sat in the rocket that steered us into the Economic Wasteland we find ourselves in imo.
I agree. His philosophy was "when you have spend it". He poured petrol on the raging fire here with tax incentives etc. And decentralisation -one for everyone in the audience.
 

Asparagus

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We'd be better if a pig with a hard-on had been MOF rather than cowen.

But mcCreevy actually did attempt some responsible strategies to cool down the economy - where they enough - no but they padded the middle classes bank accounts with SSIAs and provided the NPRF which will be pissed away on saving european banks who wrecklessly lent to Seanie and Fingers.
 

Breadan O'Connor

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Canny McCreevy saved for rainy day - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

In fairness to McCreevy, he did think ahead and set up the National Pension Reserve Fund (which his buddies will now use to 'save the Banks'). We saw rapid growth during his time as Finance Minister. Was he as bad as we first thought? Would he have been better than Biffo? I think he couldn't have been any worse.

"He maintained a significant surplus during his seven years in Finance by forecasting tax takes which were lower than average. He simultaneously implemented a tax-cutting programme, major increases in health, education and pension spending as well as increasing investment in infrastructural development to 5% of GNP. " (from Wikipedia)

I used to wonder why Biffo was such an "ineffective" minister of finance but the Ardilaun hotel episode solved that mystery for me:roll:
 

paulp

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I don't think he could have been worse than Cowen.

Why was he shipped to Europe? Reasons I've heard were
1. Ahern was removing a challenger
2. Mccreevy wanted to reign in spending a little - Ahern did not

I've no idea if either of these are true - if the second is true - I guess it just shows he had no backbone
 

ellie08

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He also failed to act on recommendations in the Bacon Report which would have cooled down the already overheating property market and removed measures which were already put in place to do so and were beginning to take effect.

His view was that the government had no place interfering in the free market.....do you still think we'd be better off if he stayed on as Minister for Finance??

He lit the fuse and Biffo sat in the rocket that steered us into the Economic Wasteland we find ourselves in imo.
Would he have got us a better deal with the IMF than Biffo? The NPRF was prudent was it not? Under Biffo's watch when things were going downhill, Biff still refused to close the loophole which allowed developers to legally avoid paying tax thus losing out on millions. It seems to me at least McCreevy had the view if the people were looked after all was well, whereas Biff and Co. just want to save the bankers and feck the public. He has shown his contempt time and time again for the people of this country, something McCreevy was not guilty of. I do not think McCreevy is a decent upstanding citizen by any means, but I still would rate him higher than the two Brians.
 

paulp

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We'd be better if a pig with a hard-on had been MOF rather than cowen.

But mcCreevy actually did attempt some responsible strategies to cool down the economy - where they enough - no but they padded the middle classes bank accounts with SSIAs and provided the NPRF which will be pissed away on saving european banks who wrecklessly lent to Seanie and Fingers.

SSIAs were not a mechanism to cool the economy - it was in effect a tax cut to middle class and was timed to buy the next election
 

Monday Monday

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Charlie McCreevy should not be able to show his face in this country again. He gave us Section 23 and light (no) touch regulation of the financial services sector. Even more than cowen he is the Finance minister who gave us the bank crash.

One thing I'll give McCreevy is that he understood his own model. Referance the claw backs in his first budget after the '02 election. At least he understood that tax cuts must be matched with spending cuts.

The public sector splurge that gives us our public debt problem is Aherns fault. He had to shoulder McCreevy off the ball in order to buy the '07 election.

Cowen is just the dope who says "yes boss, whatever you say boss." First, to Ahern when he wanted to buy the public sector with the nations money. Now, to the ECB who want the Irish people to pay the banking sectors debts. He is the sh1tbreak for the sins of the other two but he could have limited the damage if he had either balls or brains. For that he cannot be forgiven either.
 

flavirostris

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I think that article in the Indo is extremely disingenuous. McCreevy was one of the key architects of the economic disaster.

It's likely that spending would not have gone so far off the rails post 2004 and the "Inchydoney conversion" had he remained however.

Once Cowen was installed in finance as Ahern's puppet, the way was clear to let public spending run riot.

That is not to say that McCreevy was not guilty of profligacy himself as the practitioner of "If I have it, I spend it". He ramped up spending massively before the 2002 general election in order to secure victory for Fianna Fáil. Once the election was in the bag however, he slammed on the brakes hard.

Spending really began to accelerate once the Ahern-Cowen axis had wrested control of finance, a lot of it down to Ahern's desperate need for public approval and his newfound conversion to "Socialism".
 

ellie08

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SSIAs were not a mechanism to cool the economy - it was in effect a tax cut to middle class and was timed to buy the next election
I didn't hear anyone complaining at the time. However, I hold the banks in contempt over the SSIA's as they tried to get people to take out the SSIP instead of the safe SSIA where you got the SSIA money plus a good interest rate. A lot of old people were targeted as they obviously had more savings than the younger customers and they were bombarded with 'oh yes, you'll make much more on the SSIP' blah blah blah. A lot of people lost out when they didn't cash in their investment in time (yes they should have been watching their investments, but then I suppose the customers figured that's what they were paying their management fees for:mad: silly them!).
 

Mushroom

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Much like Bertie Bung, three-card-trickster and con artist McCreevy was merely a spoofer who struck lucky.

He had the good fortune to inherit a very healthy national economic situation from the Bruton/Quinn administration and he then proceeded to apply his half-baked, gimcrack economic 'theories' to it like a child using playdough in a creche.

His strong support for 'light-touch' financial regulation laid the foundations for our current economic morass and makes him every bit as deserving of our loathing and contempt as his dismal successor in the Dept of Finance.
 

Asparagus

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SSIAs were not a mechanism to cool the economy - it was in effect a tax cut to middle class and was timed to buy the next election
99% of government activity is electioneering (or when electioneering is futile - it becomes plunder (See Cowen / Lenihan 2008-2010))

The other 1% is random acts of chance.

McCreevy may have been acting in his own interest but the SSIAs were not the worst thing and at least its money the IMF can't rape us for - i hope.

McCreevey could have done tax cuts many ways but he chose to feed money into the bank accounts of the paye workers. Presumably to elongate the property bubble but by the time they matured nobody was in the mind to p1ss them away.
 

Expatriot

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This is all we need now, a rewriting of history by the very media that got it completely wrong the first time around. Is it so hard to just admit that we got it totally wrong and I mean totally from about 1990 onwards?
 

droghedasouth

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McCreevy cut property tax incentives in 2001as a result of an early Bacon report but Once the policy worked in 2002 and things had cooled off into a soft landing he did as told by his developer and estate agent buddies, re-instated them and added a few more dollops for good measure.

The rest is history and unfortunately ourtory.
 

Watch The Break

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No surprise the Indo us printing this rubbish on a day like this. McCreevy bears as much responsibility for this as Biffo and Lenihan. The right wing revisionists have already started, watch them crank it up for the election. I'm sick of this country. Rotten to the core.
 

paulp

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99% of government activity is electioneering (or when electioneering is futile - it becomes plunder (See Cowen / Lenihan 2008-2010))

The other 1% is random acts of chance.

McCreevy may have been acting in his own interest but the SSIAs were not the worst thing and at least its money the IMF can't rape us for - i hope.

McCreevey could have done tax cuts many ways but he chose to feed money into the bank accounts of the paye workers. Presumably to elongate the property bubble but by the time they matured nobody was in the mind to p1ss them away.

I'm not saying that they were a bad thing (although by default lowest earners couldn't really avail of them) or that there was anyone against them at the time.

But they were set up to buy the next election.
Also, I think a lot of car dealers did well around the maturing date
 

Toland

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SSIAs were not a mechanism to cool the economy - it was in effect a tax cut to middle class and was timed to buy the next election
They all matured within 12 months of each other .... eh ... at the height of the boom.

What do you do with a nest egg of that size, eh?

You use it as deposit to buy a house if you're Irish.

It was quite simply a bribe. And had the effect of further overheating the economy when the bloody things matured.

It should go down in history as one of the most obviously venal and counterproductive things FF did during their 13 years of mismanagement this time out.
 
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Charlie McCreevy was a terrible MOF for this country. His entire attitude represented everthing that was worst about Irish people during the 'boom' years, especially his attitude towards the less well off in society, his tax breaks for very wealthy (mostly FF supporters) and his favouritism towards the horse industry. In the end people were so sick of him they sent him to Europe, politically the only place left he could go.

I agree with previous comment, by flavirostris, that "McCreevy was one of the key architects of the economic disaster" - the other key architect being Bertie Ahern. Brian Lenihan is almost as culpable though because of his gross incompetence.
 


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