Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Teething pains of lobbying transparency register

Nuala Haughey: The first official report on the workings of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 offers important insights into how the new transparency regime is working after less than a year in operation.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Brexit threats to rights of migrant workers and students

Roland Erne: All European citizens have just been stripped of their European citizenship rights in Northern Ireland and Britain. Hence, no European right to vote in local elections, no European social rights (e.g. no European Health Insurance Card), and no European right to be treated equally anymore.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Brexit Scenarios

Nat O'Connor: The UK exit from the European Union is a sad event, not least because it is highly unlikely to deliver better living conditions to people in deprived communities who voted Leave. And by demographic change alone, in ten years today's Remain camp will be the majority (but Out nonetheless).

Next comes the long process of disentanglement. It is worth considering what the longer-term scenarios might arise from Brexit, in order to avoid some plausible nasty outcomes and to steer towards some kind of positive outcome that would benefit the UK and EU, and Ireland. Just two examples follow, but much more thinking is needed of all the many complex implications of this vote.

Better off without them?

James Wickham:  The founding fathers of the European Union believed that economics determined politics.  They have been proved wrong. What will happen now, after Brexit, involves politics – political choices, political values.  The European Union can only survive if its supporters recognise this.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The World economic outlook is not great

Paul Sweeney: The outlook for the world economy is not great, with low economic growth, rising inequality and slow demand, according to the OECD, the rich countries’ think tank. It published its Outlook earlier this month.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Neoliberalism exposed

Rory Hearne: Neoliberal policies have resulted in increased inequality and have failed to achieve economic growth. Furthermore, increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth. This statement is nothing new to progressives but it is very significant that the IMF has come out in recent weeks and identified these failings in neoliberalism.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Giving Ireland - and Europe - some backbone

James Wickham:  A progressive Europe requires putting the state back in.  And ‘the state’ means both the national member states and the European Union itself.  What follows is a written-out version of my invited intervention at a recent conference in Athens organised by Syriza and other progressive organisations.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Taoiseach appears to seek Increased Public Investment, as does OECD.

Paul Sweeney: The leak in the Irish Times (13th June 2016) that the Taoiseach has written to Mr Juncker, President of the EU Commisson, on the need for greater investment in Ireland is welcome, but appears somewhat disingenuous. 

His letter appears to quote the report published by TASC last December which pointed out that Ireland’s level of investment was at its lowest level ever and was the lowest in the Union. Mr Kenny said investment in infrastructure in Ireland was at its “lowest level for many years, and also represents the lowest level of any member state at present” – the two points emphasised by TASC.

Friday, 10 June 2016

A Basic Income for All? Has its Time Come? Or is it a fad?

Robin Wilson: The recent Swiss referendum on a universal basic income for all has cast back into the spotlight a proposal which has periodically had its advocates, ranging from green progressives to right-wing libertarians. What it hasn’t had is popular support: 77 per cent of Swiss voters rejected it.

So why has universal basic income enjoyed a certain return to political fashion? It is a disarmingly simple idea based on a disarmingly simple premiss. The digital revolution threatens massive technological unemployment; ergo, every citizen should be paid a basic income regardless.