On the decline in inequality: a question of emphasis

Robert Sweeney of TASC writes on the decline of inequality in Ireland.

In sum, income inequality, according to the best evidence, has fallen; Ireland, by conventional measures, has the most progressive tax system in the EU; and Ireland has a very high share of low-work intensity households. It is also the case that in historical terms our inequality is high, and differences in living standards have likely increased. Lower income households basically work as much as the rest of society, and the poorest pay almost the same share of their income in tax as the rich. Facts are facts and needn’t be quarrelled with. But there are many ways to present them.

Fiscal Council Webinar Wednesday 2nd December

The Fiscal Council is hosting a webinar on the December 2020 Fiscal Assessment Report, “Sustaining the Economy through Covid-19″.

This is the Council’s 19th Fiscal Assessment Report and comes as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on the Irish economy and public finances. The Report assesses the economic and fiscal consequences and explores a range of possible scenarios to 2025 along with an assessment of the policy consequences.

The twice-yearly Fiscal Assessment Report is the Council’s main publication. It assesses the Government’s budgetary stance, macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts, and compliance with fiscal rules.

The webinar will take place at 2pm Irish time on Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

Those interested in attending are invited to register at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_H2MmvtM-SYuOY4OPdt4ckQ.

The Fiscal Response to COVID-19

Here’s a useful paper from the Department of Finance summarising the fiscal response to date to the pandemic: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/84a0c-taking-stock-the-fiscal-response-to-covid-19/

There’s lots of interesting material in it. One such piece is this comparison of deficits for 2020 and 2021 in the euro area.

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/84a0c-taking-stock-the-fiscal-response-to-covid-19/

Michael Somers on Pensions

Former Chief Executive of the NTMA, Michael Somers, writes in The Irish TimesWe continue to ignore massive pensions elephant in the room‘.

Sean Barrett on Public Capital Spending

Sean Barrett in the Irish Independent writes ‘Three serious flaws in our society have converged in children’s hospital debacle’.