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Fianna Fail guy - Berie Ahern blamed for bust


Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

A new report blames the 2002 Bertie Ahern Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat government for causing most of the damage to the Irish economy and criticises the Department of Finance for failing to stop wide-ranging tax breaks that fuelled the property boom.

The review of the Republic's Department of Finance by Canadian expert Rob Wright singles out the policies in those parties' 2002 election manifestos as contributing significantly to the 2008 property market crash.

Mr Wright also criticises Department of Finance officials for not carrying out any economic or budgetary analysis of the proposed tax cuts and the huge public spending programme the FF/PD government was planning.

He blames the impact of the social partnership process as another key reason for Ireland's current economic troubles, highlighting high public sector wages compared with those in the private sector.

He questions the methods available to Department of Finance officials to raise these kind of concerns with the then minister, Charlie McCreevy, and his successors, Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan.

Mr Wright was commissioned to review the Department's performance over the past 10 years and how it handled the crisis.

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