An international economic conference held in Dublin on today (Monday, 19th January), heard that alternative decisions could have been taken by Government, which would have lessened the impact of the recession on working people, following the IMF-EU bail out. NERI Director, Tom Healy, said: “A key consideration is not what might have happened if the fiscal consolidation had not been done, but, if it had been done differently with no cuts to public capital investment, minimal cuts to current spending and significant increases to revenue especially that related to income from capital”.He added: “It is important that the story of what happened in Ireland is understood before the victors get to complete the history. In short, the creditors won and the debtors took the pain.” Tom Healy outlined his alternative approach at the conference ‘Ireland—Lessons from Its Recovery from the Bank-Sovereign Loop’ held in Dublin.The conference was jointly organised by the Central Bank of Ireland, Centre for Economic Policy Research and International Monetary Fund. The event combines a retrospective on Ireland’s EU-IMF supported programme and “aims to draw lessons for Ireland, the EU and the IMF, as well as other countries facing similar challenges”.The conference is also expected to consider the call by Greece’s left-wing party Syriza for a debt conference to consider a restructuring of sovereign debt in the euro zone, similar to the 1953 London Conference that wrote off half of Germany’s post-war debt and facilitated the country’s return to economic prosperity.For more information see:Tom Healy – Did austerity work?