Economic and Social Review – Spring 2017

The new edition of the ESR is online now with the following papers:

The changing nature of Irish wage inequality from boom to bust by Niamh Holton and Donal O’Neill

Understanding Irish labour force participation by Stephen Byrne and Martin O’Brien

Addressing market segmentation and incentives for risk selection: How well does risk equalisation in the Irish private health insurance market work? by Conor Keegan, Conor Teljeur, Brian Turner and Steve Thomas

Are perceptions of greatness accurate? A statistical analysis of Brian O’Driscoll’s contribution to the Irish rugby team by Peter D. Lunn and David Duffy

2 replies on “Economic and Social Review – Spring 2017”

I am disappointed that Ireland’s housing shortage isn’t one of the items. This is Ireland’s most pressing problem, both from an economic and a social point of view. Rapid population growth (circa 60k annually this year) has resumed, but new house construction is failing to keep pace. The ‘surplus of 300k empty new houses’ that Bertie Ahern was supposed to have left behind have turned out to be imaginary. A rapid acceleration in new house construction is urgently required. I suggest this topic be included next time and that George Lee and Morgan Kelly be asked to contribute.

The pragmatic sane solution is here:

Ireland’s Housing Emergency – Time for a Game Changer

Lack of access to affordable quality homes constitutes a significant crisis for workers, families and communities in the Republic of Ireland. Current Government plans appear to be insufficient to make a significant impact. Pressure and strain on individuals and families is a direct consequence of under-investment over many years as well as a failure on the part of a market-led and property developer-led model of housing to deliver enough houses to meet the demands of a growing population.  We propose a carefully planned programme to construct 70,000 new homes in addition to the existing stock of normally occupied housing in the Republic of Ireland. A key part of this plan is the putting in place of a European Cost Rental Model (ECRM) on lines already outlined by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and referred to in a recent report of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness.   The optimum solution, we propose, is the establishment of The Housing Company of Ireland which will draw on long-term borrowing combined with an equity injection from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and undertake or commission, on a commercial basis, a programme of planning, building, acquiring and renting of new homes.  This investment will supplement and further strengthen that of the Local Authorities as well as the voluntary housing associations in the area of social housing. The figure, below, summarises some of the key features of the ECRM.

Time to unceremoniously and unilaterally dump the nonsensical SGP and prioritise the needs of The Citizenry.

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