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Posts in the "Inequality" category

Household Income Distribution in the Republic of Ireland

Posted on February 04, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Publication cover - NERI Research inBrief Income Dist Feb 2014 - Cover image for NERI Research inBrief Income Dist Feb 2014
Cover image for NERI Research inBrief Income Dist Feb 2014

Understanding the nature, shape and composition of the income distribution is an important component of our understanding of society and the appropriateness of various policy options. In the context of considerations of policy changes (to taxes, welfare payments or public services) or changes to earnings levels (both high incomes and low incomes) it is useful to ground considerations in an understanding of the incomes experienced in society.

In the latest NERI Research inBrief, published today, I examine the Republic of Ireland’s household income distribution looking at both gross income and disposable income. The analysis is based on the latest data available from the CSO.

 On Gross Income:

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

50p tax rate would affect less than 2000 earners in Northern Ireland

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Paul Mac Flynn

Much has been made of the announcement yesterday by the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP that a Labour government would reintroduce a 50% tax on incomes over £150,000. The motivation of this policy is to reduce the deficit, and taxing higher incomes is clearly far preferable than withdrawing even more state benefits from some of the most vulnerable in our society.

 

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityNorthern Ireland Taxation

Earnings in the Republic of Ireland – the four quarters

Posted on January 13, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Recent publications from the NERI have contributed towards a more detailed understanding of the nature of the Republic of Ireland’s income and earnings distribution – a key context for the formation of public policy. See here and here and here.

Dealing only with taxable income, data from the Revenue Commissioners latest Statistical Report (for the tax year 2010) offers a useful insight into the distribution of earnings. The data details the distribution of tax cases (individuals or couples who are jointly assessed) by total gross income for that tax year. We highlight this data in the latest edition of the NERI's Quarterly Economic Facts, indicator 4.6a (p69-70).

Simplifying the data, we can divide the Republic of Ireland’s annual earnings distribution into four quarters:

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityWages

‘a serious challenge that businesses and the Government must address’

Posted on January 09, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

In Northern Ireland – as in the rest of the United Kingdom – real wages have been falling since 2008. Using data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) the UK-based GMB trade union has estimated that average earnings in Northern Ireland , when adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 12% between April 2008 and November 2013.  This is turning out to be the longest real wage squeeze in living memory. Among those at paid work, one in four workers in Northern Ireland are at risk of poverty because they are on low pay.  According to the Living Wage Research for KPMG published, last year, there were an estimated 197,000 employees below the calculated living wage level in Northern Ireland. This corresponds to 26% of all employees and is the highest of any UK region. 

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityLabour costsLiving wageNorthern Ireland

Average Incomes – falling back to 2005 levels

Posted on November 18, 2013 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 August. It is available here.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

Low Pay & Low Income: some insights on ‘The Working Poor’

Posted on October 22, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Earlier this year Eurostat, the EU Statistics Agency, released data on the number of low-paid workers in Ireland and across the EU. Their analysis defines low-earnings in relative terms measured as those earning two thirds or less of the national median gross hourly earnings. Median earnings are the earnings of the middle worker in the distribution of workers from the lowest earner to the highest earner. The data is from the 2010 Structure of Earnings Survey, a survey that occurs every four years across the EU.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityJobs

Northern Ireland Discretionary Income to fall by 20%

Posted on October 21, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

Discretionary income is the income that households have left over after taxes and spending on essential household necessities like accommodation, food and fuel. The report therefore captures the falling income in Northern Ireland and the rising cost of living. In Particular over the last five years the cost of essentials rose by 16.6% while gross incomes only grew by 12.0% leaving working people in Northern Ireland far worse off.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingIncomeInequalityNorthern Ireland

Child Poverty - North & South

Posted on September 23, 2013 by Micheál Collins

One in every five children on the island of Ireland lives in a household with an income below the poverty line. In the Republic, the latest CSO data suggests 18.8% of children live in poverty. In Northern Ireland, 22% of children are in poverty. In both, the trend over time has been one of slow decrease, but child poverty levels have consistently remained above the levels of poverty experienced by the populations generally.

In the latest edition of the NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts document, indicator 5.3 examines the Republic’s child poverty trends using data from the CSO’s 2011 Survey of Income and Living Conditions. Indicator 5.5 reviews the data for Northern Ireland using the latest edition of the Family Resources Survey (2011-2012).

Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityNorthern Ireland

Understanding Earnings - a key context for policy formation

Posted on August 27, 2013 by Micheál Collins

income dist graph 2010 QEF.png


As we move towards another austerity budget (October 2013) it is useful to consider Government's choices in the context of the structure of earnings. Despite its relevance, limited attention tends to be given to the distribution of earnings and income in the formation of policy options and decisions.


Data from the Revenue Commissioners latest Statistical Report (for the tax year 2010) offers a useful insight into the distribution of earnings in the Republic of Ireland. The data details the distribution of tax cases (individuals or couples who are jointly assessed) by total gross income for that tax year. We highlight this data in the latest edition of the NERI's Quarterly Economic Facts, indicator 4.6a (p69-70).


A summary of that data shows us that:

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

New Report on Republic’s Income Distribution

Posted on August 07, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Publication cover - NERI Research inBrief Income Dist August 2013 - Cover image for NERI Research inBrief Income Dist August 2013
Cover image for NERI Research inBrief Income Dist August 2013

The latest NERI Research inBrief, entitled Income Distribution, Pre-distribution and Re-distribution: latest data for the Republic of Ireland, provides the latest information on income distribution in the Republic of Ireland.


Pre-distribution, the direct income distribution reflects a large proportion of Irish society with little, if any, market income. The combined direct income share of the bottom 50% is just over 8% of all Ireland's direct income. The bottom eight deciles receive a total of 40% of the total pre-distribution income, marginally more than than received by the top decile.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequality

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