Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Appeal of Apple tax ruling is not in the public interest

James Stewart: The commission assessment of unpaid taxes at €13bn plus interest, to be recovered by Ireland is much higher than most expected, especially the Government.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Replacing USC with 600% Property Tax is Not Likely

Nat O'Connor: Talk of a 600% increase in property tax is a catchy headline, but not realistic fiscal policy. However, it is useful if it gets people thinking about how we pay for public services—and who pays.

There is a political promise in the Programme for Government to abolish USC (the Universal Social Charge). Yet USC brings in around €4 billion per year. So, officials in the Department of Finance (and presumably Revenue) have produced a document spelling out various ways to raise €4 billion elsewhere if the USC was abolished.

There are two key questions: Do we want to keep the same level of tax revenue in order to provide the same level of public services? Who should pay more or less tax?

Housing and homelessness crisis worsens

Rory Hearne: This week’s figures on homelessness and rent increases provide further evidence of the on-going housing crisis. Unfortunately the Government’s recent Action Policy for Housing and Homelessness provided no significant change in direction from the policies that caused the current crisis. Therefore, issues of homelessness and housing unaffordability are going to worsen in the coming months and years with harsh results for those most affected.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Despite recovery, Ireland remains a hugely unequal society

Rory Hearne: The fact that the number of homeless children in the capital exceeds 2,000 for the first time since current records began is further evidence Ireland is a deeply unequal country. Economic inequality is worsening despite the recovery and, for those experiencing inequality, particularly children, Ireland is a very harsh place.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

London on the Liffey? Some impacts of the relocation of financial services jobs to Dublin

James Wickham:  Post-Brexit it is widely believed that Ireland will benefit from the relocation of some  financial services employment from London to Dublin.  There are some issues about the type of employment generated by mobile financial services...

Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Not-Sharing Economy Part 2 – Uber and Airbnb

Paul Sweeney: In my last blog, I argued that the so-called “sharing economy” is based on an increasingly “fissured workplace.” Many technology firms can have a negative impact on jobs, workers’ conditions, on taxes and indeed on the sovereign state and democracy. This blog will examine two of these firms in the so-called sharing -  Uber, the world’s most valuable start-up and Airbnb, the  third most valuable one.

Uber has had endless global litigation, including a class-action lawsuit from drivers in California and Massachusetts which it recently settled for $100m. It avoids Irish VAT by shipping payments through Netherlands. 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Women’s unpaid care is pivotal factor in gendered economic inequalities

Dr Ursula Barry and Dr Maggie Feeley: Despite the issue of gender inequalities being well-aired in the past decades, current evidence shows that women in Ireland still experience immense economic disadvantage.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The “Sharing” Economy is based on a Fissured Workplace

Paul Sweeney: Uber and Airbnb are not the Sharing Economy. Instead, they represent a rapid increase in the “Fissured Workplace”. 

This “sharing” is large businesses shedding their employees and sourcing labour through "a complex network" of external entities, creating intermediaries between the workers and profiting from that work.

The fissured workplace is developing between a ruthless breed of capitalists, a shrinking elite of core workers, and the rest. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Is Ireland's Income Tax High?

Paul Goldbrick-Kelly: A great deal of political debate in Ireland rests on the assumption that Ireland’s rates of taxation are prohibitive. This is generally taken to mean that Irish taxes on income, specifically, are particularly onerous. This perception is rarely, however, assessed with reference to available statistics.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Working conditions in the Irish back office: Are all jobs in Financial Services and ICT really that good?

Alicja Bobek: There are two sectors of the Irish labour market with average earnings significantly above the national average: Financial Services and ICT. In both sectors the annual earnings (including irregular earnings) were above €50,000 in 2015. Employment in these two sectors is also relatively secure for a large proportion of individuals as the majority of jobs are full-time and permanent (CSO, 2015); they can also be characterised as white collar and have relatively higher levels of job autonomy (O’Connell, 2010).

Is the G20 “Enhanced Structural Reform Agenda” serious about inclusiveness?

Pierre Habbard: Recently, the G20 Finance committed to a new — but yet to be made public — “Enhanced structural reform agenda”. Ministers also called for the “benefits of growth” to be “shared more broadly”. 

Will the two fit together? And, will they lead to policy change?