Posts in the "Taxation" category

Uncertainty and Economic Recovery

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Slowly, the Irish economy is recovering; very slowly! Over the weekend, I and other economists contributed to a article (see here) on the two-speed nature of the recovery. While the exchequers finances are improving (lower unemployment, higher employment, some increased spending, expenditure cuts and new taxes) the impact on the ground is very different. For those returning to work there have been significant, overdue and welcome benefits from recovery while for those already working the challenges of continuing to absorb further austerity has not dissipated.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxation

Tábhacht Postanna, Pá, Tithe

Posted on June 03, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

An príomh rud atá in easnamh sa tír seo faoi láthair ná dóchas – dóchas atá bunaithe ar fhírinní agus ar fhéidireachtaí na sochaí.

Tá teipeadh le straitéis na déine san Eoraip. Tá an tuarascáil is nua ag an gcomissiún Eorpach  Ní thugann an cháipéis aon tuarthaí nua dóchas agus athrú bunúsach do phobal na hEorpa. Níl an ráiteas bunaithe ar na fíricí ó thaobh dí fhostaíocht, caiteachas cúrsaí sláinnte. Níl le hofráil ach níos mó den pholasaí atá ag déanamh scrios don Eoraip cheana féin. Luaigh siad caiteachas poiblí ar sláinnte – go bhfuil sé thar an mean don AE. Níl sé seo fíor mar tá an figiúr seo bunaithe are oll-Ioncaim náisiúnta cé n’úsáidtearr GDP nó OTI ag an gcomisiún I gcónaí chun comparáidí a dhéanamh.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentTaxationWages

Jobs, Wages, Homes

Posted on May 30, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

Following 6 years of declining or stagnant living standards many people are wondering what the future holds. The gathering crisis of accommodation and social housing has caught many by surprise. While there has been a welcome pick up in employment and a very modest fall in unemployment these changes are tentative and it remains to be seen how fast we can move towards single-digit unemployment figures. Under-employment, unemployment, precariousness and poor-quality work experience are widespread and they impact on young people in particular.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentJobsTaxationWages

Universal Private Health Insurance: Terms & Conditions will apply

Posted on May 17, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

Recently the Government in the Republic of Ireland issued a White Paper on Universal Health Insurance. In it, the Government states: ‘it has set out an ambitious plan for the most far-reaching and fundamental reform of our health system since the foundation of the State.’ It describes the proposed reform of the health service as involving an end to the current ‘deeply unfair and highly inefficient’ two-tier health system. It promises a single-tier health system which:

  • delivers proactive, integrated care at the lowest level of complexity that is safe; timely, efficient and as close to home as possible;
  • provides equal access based on need rather than ability to pay;
  • drives the wider ‘whole of Government’ approach to health in all policies, and
  • delivers true value for the Irish people.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInequalityTaxation

Time to think about the type of Ireland we want to live in

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Micheál Collins

The impact of the various austerity measures over recent years has been, and continues to be, felt by families in every corner of the country. Whether it is pay, public services or social welfare; all measures point towards a drop in living standards that has been hard felt. Recent data from the CSO quantified the average decrease in income for households since 2008 at 14%; of course it has been much more difficult for households on mid-to-low incomes to absorb this decrease.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderGovernment SpendingIncomeMacroeconomicsTaxation

Why should taxpayers pay for ‘free’ higher education?

Posted on April 06, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

Why indeed? Data published by the CSO and OECD show much better earnings and employment outcomes for third level graduates.  The cost of providing higher education is not small. At approximately €9,000 on average per student per annum the true total cost varies by location, type of course and field of study. Tuition fees and the ‘student charge’ are sizeable but when added together are less than half of the overall cost in the case of undergraduate courses. The rest is financed by the State. Last week a NERI Working Paper ‘We Need to Talk about Higher Education’ explored the evidence in relation to the funding of Higher Education in the Republic of Ireland and how it compares with other countries. It concludes with some proposals for future funding.

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityTaxation

A Budget for the few

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Paul Mac Flynn

Budget 2014 announced some interesting measures for pensioners and savers but overall the economic strategy remains as it was. Government fiscal policy remains committed to reductions in government expenditure extending to the end of the decade despite serious concerns over the sustainability of the current 'recovery'.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInequalityInvestmentMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland TaxationWages

Raising wages or cutting taxes?

Posted on February 15, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

‘Putting more money into the pockets of consumers and workers’ Now who could be against that? ...after six years of unrelenting austerity, wage cuts for some, tax increases for nearly everyone …. But the problem is that ‘putting more money into the pockets’ can be done in a number of ways. Taxes on income can be lowered by one means or another. Or, wages can be increased. Creating new jobs will also help as people start earning and spending more.  However, there is a crucial difference between cutting income tax (always a popular proposal because nearly everyone in the income tax net believes they are paying too much already and would love to pay less) and raising wages. 

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Permanent link | Categories: Labour costsTaxationWages

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

Ireland’s VAT Gap – a missing billion?

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Micheál Collins

A recent report from the European Commission (DG TAXUD) offers some interesting insights into the Republic of Ireland’s VAT system and the amount of VAT collected. The report, which examined the VAT systems across EU member states, sets out to estimate the ‘VAT gap’ a measure of the difference between the potential VAT and actual VAT that may be attributed to non-compliance rather than deliberate policy decisions/exemptions etc.

For the Republic of Ireland, here are some of the key findings:

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Permanent link | Categories: Taxation

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