Posts in the "Taxation" category

UK Budget 2016 - Ominous Revisions

Posted on March 16, 2016 by Paul Mac Flynn

Today's statement in the House of Commons marked George Osborne's eighth budget in just under six years as Chancellor. Whilst there were many eye-catching policies such as a tax on sugary drinks and reforms to ISAs, they could not distract from some major revisions to UK economic growth. The Office for Budget Responsibility cut their forecast of UK GDP growth in 2016/17 to 2%, down from 2.4% outlined last November. GDP forecasts are cut further by an average of 0.3% out to 2020, putting significant strain on the Chancellors commitments on the public finances.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland Taxation

Slides from Seminar on tax shifting and ‘harmful taxes’

Posted on March 10, 2016 by Louisa O'Brien

P Sweeney NERI seminar

Click here for the slides from the NERI seminar delivered by Paul Sweeney (TASC) on 9th March 2016.

The seminar was based on a recent publication by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) which is available here external link .

Permanent link | Categories: Taxation

Fiscal Rules, Fiscal Space and Growth Friendly Fiscal Policies

Posted on February 12, 2016 by Tom McDonnell


The reformed Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and the creation of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) have enhanced supervision of Irish fiscal policy and reduced the range of feasible fiscal stances an Irish government can promise or take. This new reality was brought into sharp focus with the recent debate about 'fiscal space'. The fiscal space represents the projected amount of additional resources available for public spending over a period of time.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxation

How Much Would a FTT Raise?

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Micheál Collins

FTT markets

This month’s NERI seminar featured a new research paper which examined the likely revenue yield for the Republic of Ireland from the implementation of a financial transactions tax (FTT).

In 2011 the European Commission outlined proposals for a Europe wide FTT. Since then the proposal has been pursued by ten countries under ‘enhanced cooperation’ procedures with plans evolving to introduce the tax during 2017/2018. To date Ireland has not signed up to adopting a FTT.

The European Commission proposal is for a tax of 0.1% (one-tenth of one per cent) on the trading of bonds and shares and 0.01% (one-hundredth of one per cent) on the value of derivative agreements.

The paper estimates the revenue that Ireland would collect from participating in the European FTT. It finds:

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Permanent link | Categories: Taxation

Tackling Economic Inequality

Posted on January 20, 2016 by Micheál Collins

Economic Inequality

One could write a book, indeed volumes, on the topic of economic inequality and its possible causes, implications and remedies. In a blog (based on a short input to a recent conference) it is only possible to point towards a number of key issues; specifically six core areas relevant to our thinking on how we might more comprehensively tackle economic inequality. The list is not intended to be either ordered or all-encompassing, rather it offers a number of policy pointers – particularly relevant to the evolving policy positions and thinking of various political parties in advance of Election 2016.

1. Jobs and Long-term Unemployment

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderGovernment SpendingInequalityJobsTaxation

Just Change – reforming Scotland’s Local Property Tax

Posted on January 12, 2016 by Micheál Collins

Micheal Collins profile

Scotland’s Commission on Local Tax Reform was established in early 2015 with the purpose of considering reforms to the current Council Tax system – one deemed outdated and broken by those on all sides. On December 14th last the Commission published its final report entitled ‘Just Change: A New Approach to Local Taxation”.

The report’s title underscores the exasperation of policy makers in Scotland with its current system and consequently the report is clear on the need for its replacement. However, cleverly, the report does not make any specific recommendation for its replacement; rather it outlines in some detail a number of fairer and more progressive options that are available to those who find themselves in government after the 2016 Scottish Election.

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Permanent link | Categories: Taxation

Low tax, low spend?

Posted on January 06, 2016 by Tom McDonnell

twenty euro close up

The NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts contains a range of indicators on the public finances. One of these indicators compares levels of government revenue and public spending in the Republic of Ireland (Ireland) with that of other EU economies. The basic method of comparison is to measure total government revenue and total public spending as percentages of GDP. Total general government revenue is largely obtained from taxes and social security contributions but also includes other receipts of public authorities. The largest items of public spending by function are social protection measures (mainly social transfers), followed by spending on health and then spending on education. The early exchequer returns for 2015 suggest the public finances were approaching balance in 2015. An exchequer deficit of €62 million was recorded with an underlying exchequer deficit in 2015 of close to €3.4 billion.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingTaxation

Repairing the International Corporate Taxation System: Ireland's Role

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Micheál Collins

Micheal Collins profile

Over recent years there has been increasing attention given to the structures multi-national firms use to manage their tax liabilities. The latest NERI Research inBrief, entitled “Broken, Needs Repair: an overview of the international taxation system examines the international corporate taxation system and some of the recent evidence that points towards its failings and the need for its reform.

In reality there is no such thing as an international corporate taxation system; rather what exists is a set of rules that have evolved piecemeal, within and between countries, since around the 1920s.

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Permanent link | Categories: Taxation

Nothing comes from nothing: the case of health

Posted on December 06, 2015 by Tom Healy

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

Health is better than gold or ‘is fearr an tsláinte ná an t-ór’ as the saying goes in Irish. Economists and statisticians tend to think of health as a cost as well as a sphere of activity involving consumption of resources in the present time. Health, however, has two dimensions: (i) It is a state of well-being for which all strive because it concerns body and mind and goes beyond narrow notions of ‘satisfaction’ or ‘utility’; and (ii) It involves work, behaviour, caring, time and money which enables people to be healthy not just this year but for years to come (hence it is an investment activity as well as a consumption activity).

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingNorthern Ireland Taxation

What is a prudent fiscal space?

Posted on November 29, 2015 by Tom Healy

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

One of the impacts of the recent economic crisis is that new expressions have been added to the English language, as spoken here. One such example is ‘fiscal space’. When the economy is growing there is, at one and the same time, more demand for public services (more school pupils and more demand for health services for examlpe) as well as less demand for other public services (when there are fewer persons unemployed). Rising or ageing population also impact on demand for public services and pensions.  Alongside changes in spending that are ‘cyclical’ revenue trends so that there is a natural jump in revenue as people spend more and receive higher incomes – boosting state coffers.  Separating out the temporary ‘cyclical’ effects and the ‘structural’ effects is not at all easy for economists and statisticians.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentTaxation

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