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Thatcherite riches.

SIR - Henry Jones-Davies (Western Mail, letters, March 9) presents the nationalist view that an independent Wales could become prosperous by following the Irish example of drastically cutting business taxes, which in turn would lead to large scale inward investment.

However, the policies which brought about the Celtic Tiger economy were nothing more than a game of beggar my neighbour in which other European countries wisely chose not to become involved. If one or two small nations had followed Ireland they may well have benefited but if everyone had done it no one would have been any better off and the multinational corporations would be paying even less tax than they do already. Would some of the investment that went to Ireland as a result of these policies have otherwise come to Wales?

Also, this model of the Irish economy is becoming outdated. Many companies are transferring their manufacturing operations from Ireland to the low-wage economies of Eastern Europe and even lower-wage economies of Asia. In future, Ireland will be like Britain; a country dependent on consumption rather than production for its prosperity.

Ireland has benefited from increased prosperity in recent years but this prosperity has not reached everyone.

A leading member of the Progressive Democrats, is alleged to have said that if people haven't shared in the prosperity of the Celtic Tiger economy then it is their own fault. Only this week an opposition politician claimed that 16% of Irish children were, either always or often, going to bed hungry. It is ironic Welsh nationalists should be endorsing what is nothing more than a form of Thatcherite prosperity.

GWYN MEREDITH

Clydach Dingle, Brynmawr Gwent
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 15, 2006
Words:274
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