Thursday, 29 December 2016

Prof Brian Nolan on Inequality - A complex issue explained.

At TASC, the main focus is on inequality and most readers of Progressive Economy probably have a good understanding of this complex issue. We publish an annual series on inequality which is part of a long-term project by TASC to monitor trends in economic inequality in Ireland. We present key economic inequality indicators in Ireland, which year-on-year will provide critical information for the public. In 2016, the book was Cherishing All Equally 2016.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Apollo House Homeless Occupation

Paul Sweeney: Last week the Irish state borrowed a load of money. The interest rate we will pay was minus 0.42% Yes, the lenders competed with each other to PAY the NTMA to take their money. The offer was 2.6 times oversubscribed. 

We Have the Money
Yet when the nationalised banks, AIB etc. are sold off by the state, the money is all to be used to help repay the national debt. Why repay some of it when interest rates are negative? 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Ireland has one of the Lowest Levels of 4G Availability in the World.

Paul Sweeney: Ireland has one of the worst levels of 4G availability in the world. This is largely because of the privatisation of Eircom. 

Ireland is 75th of the long list of 79 countries (see graph below). We are below Thailand, Albania, Peru, Columbia, Panama, Morocco, Romania, Philippines and the UK, which is 54th.  This list is in a report from the UK’s Infrastructure Commission on 4G and 5G.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Precarious work in Ireland: why is it an issue?

Alicja Bobek: Precarious work has become a very fashionable term in recent years. We hear about it in the media and public discourse; it is also a subject of much academic debate. The discussion revolves around the growth of atypical work and increased insecurity of employment, which is the main characteristic of precarious work. There are some who claim that nearly all work is now precarious, however most focus on the so-called ‘objective’ or ‘contractual’ precarity attached to flexible contracts, which are not typical, as in full-time and permanent.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Rental strategy insufficient for affordable homes

Rory Hearne: The government’s Strategy for the Rental Sector, while containing the welcome provision of rental restrictions is ultimately flawed because it does not link rent increases to inflation, excludes areas outside Dublin and Cork (particularly the commuter counties), does not provide security of tenure, proposes the sale of public land ‘below market value’ (i.e. give away/privatising a valuable public resource) to global real estate funds to increase ‘supply’, and is based on the failed (and contradictory) market assumptions that increasing rents will lead to further supply and increased supply will lead to affordable rents/house prices.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Leave no trace? How to combat off the record government

Nuala Haughey: When we think of government record keeping it often conjures up images of dusty archives stuffed with crumbling paper documents.

While historical archives are a rich part of our cultural heritage, there are many day-to-day reasons why we should care about how governments and public bodies currently make and keep records of their actions and decisions.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Is Inequality Entrenched Forever?

Paul Sweeney: Will the poor be always with us, as the Bible warned? Comparing the family wealth to those with the same surname today, a new study suggests that the richest families in Florence 600 years ago remain the same today.

This study, by two Italian economists, Guglielmo Barone and Sauro Mocetti, analysed Florentine taxpayers back in 1427 to those in 2011. In almost 600 years, they found “The top earners among the current taxpayers were found to have already been at the top of the socioeconomic ladder six centuries ago.” 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Brexit in Numbers for Ireland

Paul Sweeney: The CSO has published a useful paper on what the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union will mean for Ireland. We have seen that there will be some advantages with the exit of the British in a recent blog by Prof James Wickhamthough overall the impact will be negative on the economy.