For 12 months starting 1^{st}May 2001, the Irish government were offering aSpecialSavingsIncentiveAccount with various financial institutions, in which they gave 25% over 5 years accruing monthly, on top of what the institutions would give (around 5% p.a.). You can vary your contributions monthly from around €10 to €250, and you essentially lose all interest if you withdraw before full term. There were around 289,000 accounts taken, so if everyone saves the maximum, then there will be around €7B cash comming into the Irish economy from the summer of 2006. It should be interesting to watch the inflation figures around then. [Update: New figures released on Aug 30^{th}2004 show there were 1.1 million accounts taken, with the average payout being €13,637 giving a total of €15 billion comming into the Irish economy] Following is a graph of the effective annual interest given by the government on top of the interest given by the financial institutions, over the life of the policy and was graphed using gnuplot (with these commands). In the last month for example you get 25% on your lodgement even though you only have to invest it for 1 month. This equates to an annual interest rate of 300%. [Update: The Dec 4^{th}2002 budget did not restrict people increasing contributions into their SSIA, so it will really pay to increase your payments towards the end, if possible.] [Update: Apr 2006] Searching for "SSIA" on the Department of finance website showed some interesting results for when exactly the SSIA money will be released into the economy. I've plotted this data below which shows at least that Ireland is a nation of procrastinators. I don't know what percentage of people exactly have invested in equities, but I understand it's significant, so I for one will not be buying anything on the Irish stock exchange early 2007. Here are some nice gnuplot examples.

© May 9 2006