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Posts in the "Taxation" category

Things you always wanted to know about Northern Ireland public finances (Part 2)

Posted on November 28, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

In a previous Blog ‘Things you always wanted to know about public finances in Northern Ireland but were afraid to ask’ (Part 1) I outlined the main components of public spending and receipts. The arrangements for funding and how the UK Government allocates funds are complex.  Three factors have recently pushed the issue of public funding in Northern Ireland to the fore:

  1. Continuing pressure on public spending at UK level with further austerity signalled by all main political parties in the next Parliament (following May 2015).
  2. Controversy over UK Welfare Reform (see previous blog here)
  3. On-going debate about devolution including powers to vary taxes in Scotland, Northern Ireland and even large urban areas in the UK (earlier last week the Smith Commission reported on proposals for further Scottish independence).

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingNorthern Ireland Taxation

Things you always wanted to know about public finances in Northern Ireland but were afraid to ask (Part 1)

Posted on November 15, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

Fiscal austerity has dominated public discourse across Europe for more than half a decade. The UK and Northern Ireland has been no exception. Recent weeks have seen growing controversy and political tension as public spending cuts imposed by the UK government continue to impact on the local provision of public services and incomes.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentNorthern Ireland Taxation

NERI Seminar: Assessing Funding Models for Water Services Provision

Posted on November 12, 2014 by Daragh McCarthy

Tom McDonnell NERI Seminar on Funding Water Services.png - Tom McDonnell speaking at the NERI seminar on funding water services
Tom McDonnell speaking at the NERI seminar on funding water services

The Institute hosted its November research seminar in INTO Learning Centre yesterday afternoon. Dr Tom McDonnell presented his recent working paper on funding models for water services provision.

Working on the premise of water charges being introduced, the paper recommends combining a volume based pricing structure with a system of income related water credits ensuring that a combination of water charges and low income does not become a barrier to vulnerable households accessing water and wastewater services. The working paper accompanying today's seminar is available here and a recent blog by Tom Healy on the subject water charges can be found here. Slides from the presentation can be accessed below:

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentTaxation

The workings of austerity

Posted on November 08, 2014

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

When, in November 2010, the President of the European Central Bank wrote to the then Irish Minister for Finance, he stated on behalf of the Governing Council of the ECB that the Irish Government undertake four specific actions. The first two included the following commitments: “1) The Irish government shall send a request for financial support to the Eurogroup; 2) The request shall include the commitment to undertake decisive actions in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and financial sector restructuring, in agreement with the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the ECB.” 'With kind regards etc.'

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxationWages

Budget 2015: another regressive budget

Posted on October 24, 2014

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

Recently the Government in the Republic of Ireland unveiled its budget for the year 2015.  By European law the Budget is subject to approval  by the European Commission. Unlike a number of other European Union Member States it seems highly likely that the Budget will be approved. In the normal flow of events a Finance Bill will be enacted by the parliament or Dáil in Dublin before the end of this year.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInequalityInvestmentTaxation

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

Overview of Budget 2015

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell profile

There are some positive elements to the Budget but overall it represents a major missed opportunity.

The economics behind Budget 2015 are shaky to say the least. An expansionary budget based on tax cuts for the better off fails the economic best practice test and also fails the equity test. The Budget 2015 tax changes are regressive with single earners on €70,000 benefiting by four times as much as minimum wage earners from the direct tax changes. Taking into account the water charges the ESRI have confirmed that poorer households will lose out from Budget 2015 while richer households will gain.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsTaxation

Getting our priorities right

Posted on September 20, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

A curious feature of public debate in the run-up to Budget 2015 in the Republic of Ireland next month is the extent of focus on reducing income tax for the top 20% of workers (those paying the top income tax rate). These account for just under 400,000 persons at work and make up 18% of all tax cases.

[There has been remarkably little attention paid to those who have taken the greatest hit as a result of the recession:

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsTaxation

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

How much tax do people really pay

Posted on August 28, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Micheal Collins profile

How much Tax do people really pay?

Too often considerations of the taxation system are focused on income taxes, or income related taxes like social insurance; a narrow perspective given the composition of taxation revenue received by the exchequer. Indeed, the oft-cited phrase ‘taxpayers’ is generally taken to mean income taxpayers rather than its more appropriate meaning of all those paying taxes – whether from income, expenditure or other contributions.

 A new research paper by Dr Micheál Collins of the NERI examines how much tax people ‘really’ pay. It uses data from the most recent Household Budget Survey to bring together information on the total amount of direct (income tax and social insurance payments) and indirect (VAT, excise and levies) tax paid by people in the Republic of Ireland.

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityTaxation

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