macliam wrote: ↑
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:11 pm
..the "5th largest economy in the world"...
You're mixing up your comparisons.
The UK is indeed the 5th largest economy, behind USA, China, Japan and Germany. Clearly China doesn't have prosperity comparable to the other top 5 countries - it's the vast size of the country that puts it up there.
GDP per capita is a perhaps better measure of a country’s prosperity. On that measure, Ireland is 5th, with GDP per capita about 50% greater than the UK, which is around number 20.
Ireland also has a smaller proportion of over-65s – 13% compared with 18% for UK.
No wonder Ireland can afford more generous benefits to the retired.