New figures released by the Irish Central Statistic Office showed that the Irish economy shrank by 7.6 percent and investment dropped by 37.9 percent between 2007 and 2009.

Fine Gael enterprise spokesperson, Richard Bruton, said these figures confirmed how badly Ireland had suffered during the recession.

He said “Ignoring price changes, the size of the Irish economy in Gross Domestic Product terms fell by 16 percent between 2007 and 2009.

“This is five times worse than the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average over this period and levels of domestic investment are now at levels last seen in 1997.”

Bruton continued by saying “Despite all the evidence and the conclusions of the recent banking reports, some Government ministers continue to pretend that Ireland’s problems were caused by outside forces, when the truth is that Ireland and its people have been the victims of catastrophic economic mismanagement.”

The figures show that personal spending fell by 11.1 percent in 2009. The Government also reduced its outgoings by 5.1 percent.

What the figures boiled down to is the Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product, the value of all goods and services in the economy, for that period contracted by 7.6 percent while Gross National Product was down a huge 10.7 percent.

Bruton said that this contraction in the economy sparked the massive jump in unemployment. The numbers of people signing on for social welfare, in 2009, increased by 97,000.