Selling Out? - Privatisation in Ireland
01 October 2004
This is the story of privatisation in Ireland - who made money, who lost money and whether the taxpayer gained. It sets the limits on privatisation - what should not be sold for money - and it shows that privatisation is about not only ownership but also public influence and control. It proves that this government has already sold out key assets, that consumers now pay higher prices and competitiveness has been lost. Examining the story of the Eircom privatisation, Sweeney shows how this triumph for 'popular capitalism' was, in fact, a hard lesson in why some state assets should never be privatised.
Sweeney quantifies the billions in gains made by the state on its investments in the state companies and how much the remaining companies are worth, and he proposes reforms to dynamise the remaining state companies to the advantage of the taxpayer, the consumer, society and the economy.
Paul Sweeney, Economic Advisor to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, was a business and economic advisor for several years and worked for SIPTU. He is Chair of TASC's Economists Network.
He has been a board member of ESB and an ESOT director. His books include The Politics of Privatisation and Public Enterprise and The Celtic Tiger: Ireland's Continuing Economic Miracle.
To read a review click here
To read an extract from the book click here.