Ireland plans to measure national mood as cuts bite

DUBLIN (BestGrowthStock) – Ireland plans to introduce a national welfare index to capture a broader range of ‘quality of life’ indicators than is currently covered by pure economic measurements.

The move follows that of countries such as France and Britain which are seeking ways to capture national mood beyond the scope of traditional economic data.

“The government has committed to the introduction of a new national performance indicator to allow a variety of quality of life measurements to be assessed and reported on a regular basis,” Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said on Tuesday.

“… Our attractiveness as a country in which to live is an important part of our overall competitiveness,” he said in the introduction to his 2011 budget, the harshest on record.

Lenihan said Ireland’s Central Statistics Office was working on the development of this new national welfare index.

Last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron set out plans to measure the national mood and help to build a more family-friendly nation, a tough endeavor at a time of sharp spending cuts.

Economists have previously expressed skepticism over whether such a gauge would be taken seriously.

Last year, President Nicolas Sarkozy asked Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, a former White House adviser and World Bank chief economist, to find new ways to measure economic progress taking into account social wellbeing.

Ireland plans to measure national mood as cuts bite