Posts in the "Income" category

Working and living below the poverty line: ‘The Working Poor’

Posted on January 13, 2015 by Micheál Collins

2015 looks set to be a year when those at the bottom of the earnings distribution receive increased attention. Government will shortly establish a low pay commission which will (among other things) review the minimum wage. Later this month the CSO will provide new data on incomes and earnings (SILC) and during the summer the Living Wage technical group will update its estimate of the hourly earnings required to provide a basic, yet decent, standard of living for a full-time worker. No doubt those described as the ‘working poor’ will be frequently mentioned.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityJobsLabour costsLiving wageWages

Ireland's Income Distribution: recent trends

Posted on December 16, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Judged in an international context, Ireland is a high income country. The 2014 United Nations Human Development Report ranks Ireland as having the 28th highest gross national income per person in the world – with an average income at almost two and a half times the world average. Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that average incomes, also measured as gross national income per person, stood at €32,599 in 2013 – a historically high figure, though lower than the peaks achieved in the years immediately before the recent economic recession.

However, while overall averages are interesting, they assume an equal distribution of income across the population. In reality, income is not so evenly spread.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

Income: The Gender Divide

Posted on December 02, 2014 by Micheál Collins

There are many measures examining differences in various socio-economic characteristics among men and women. In general, women are better educated, healthier, live longer but earn less – factors which in themselves point towards gaps in societal equality for both sexes.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequality

Trends in Average Incomes since 2006

Posted on November 04, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Income levels, whether for individuals or households, are far from perfect measures of progress and well-being. However, they offer one insight into the experience of recent years for households across the Republic. In particular, trends in disposable income (income after taxes and welfare payments) provide some understanding of what households have left in their pockets to spend each week/month or across the year.

The skewed nature of Ireland’s income distribution was highlighted in a recent NERI Research inBrief which I published in February. It is available here .

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequalityWages

NERI Post Budget Seminar

Posted on October 23, 2014

Post Budget Seminar 2015 - NERI post Budget seminar
NERI post Budget seminar

The October NERI seminar took place yesterday afternoon in the INTO Learning Centre. Michelle Murphy (Social Justice Ireland), Cormac Staunton (TASC) and Michael Taft (UNITE) provided on overview of the impact of the Budget 2015 with a focus on changes to system of income tax and the prospects for economic growth and employment over the coming years. 

Response to Budget 2015

Links to the slides used by each presenter can be found here:

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingIncomeInvestmentMacroeconomics

Income Taxation and Budget 2015

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Budget 2015 (Public investment in social housing)

Judged from an income taxation perspective, Budget 2015 was reminiscent of Budgets of ten years ago, or more - maybe a worrying starting point! Cuts to income taxes dominated the announcements, and policy implementation within the Budget. This was at the cost of other priorities, including securing a more stable basis for growth and recovery in the years to come.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeLiving wageMacroeconomicsTaxationWages

Water charges: affordability and distribution of cost.

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell profile

User based water charges went live on the 1st of October. Consumption charges are regressive, impact disproportionately on low income households and the introduction of user based water charges raises significant affordability issues. The current system of free allowances is expensive, poorly targeted (with subsidies for richer households) and economically inefficient. In the accompanying NERI inBrief I briefly describe two alternative models. These are a water credit model to prevent water poverty, and a zero free allowance model to generate a more progressive distribution of the cost of water service provision while maintaining the user pays principle.

In an NERI inBrief entitled 'Water Charges, Water Poverty and Water Credits' I discuss one aspect of the new regime: affordability and distribution of cost.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

Deprivation Trends Highlight Living Standards Impact of Recession

Posted on October 08, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Indicator 5.1 in the latest edition of the NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts document tracks trends in poverty and deprivation in the Republic of Ireland from 2004 to 2012 – the latest year where data is available. Overall it reflects a decrease in poverty levels to 2009 before these began to increase again as the recent economic crisis took hold.

Data on deprivation offers a further insight into these recent trends. It measures the proportion of the population who are unable to afford any of eleven basic items. The items range from two pairs of strong shoes, to a warm waterproof coat, to the ability to replace worn out furniture.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

The Earnings Distribution: the bottom, the middle, the top and the very top

Posted on September 09, 2014 by Micheál Collins

There has been lots of talk in recent months about ‘middle-earners’ – almost all of it without any basis in the various numbers available on the income and earnings distribution. Indicator 4.5a in the latest edition of the NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts (p75-76) provides a basis for a more informed understanding.

The indicator uses the latest earnings data from the Revenue Commissioners’ Statistical Report to profile the distribution of earnings. Dealing only with taxable income the data details the distribution of tax cases (individuals or couples who are jointly assessed) by total gross income for the 2011 tax year – the latest available.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityWages

Taxing Questions, Taxing Answers

Posted on September 02, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Following the publication of the recent NERI working paper on total household tax contributions, there have been a number of issues raised by commentators and others on the paper, its data and its conclusions. Of course, given the topic, that comes as no surprise. Taxation is always a contentious issue and sadly one which, though discussed and speculated upon in great detail, is not often on the receiving end of detailed empirical research. The very fact that last week’s paper was the first to look at overall tax contributions since 1995 (a CSO report on 1987 data) underscores the gaps in our knowledge of the taxation system.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeTaxation

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