Let’s look at the number of people who “don’t want work”

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By Cormac Lucey The Central Bank of Ireland may be best known for its management of monetary policy, yet it is also a significant centre of Irish economic research and — beneath the arcane academic language and uninteresting titles — these papers can contain some very interesting information and analysis. Consider a recent paper titled A Non-Employment Index for Ireland, … Read More

Send for Michael O’Leary — our economy still measured on a wing and a prayer

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By Cormac Lucey What is Ryanair’s annual output or revenue? You can find the answers very quickly by looking at the company’s annual report. For most companies, total annual output is a simple matter to determine. Measuring Ireland’s annual output is a more complicated question. This is because the presence of so much multinationals generates activities that occur here but … Read More

When it comes to tax, Sinn Fein is the worst option of all

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By Cormac Lucey When I fill out my vote at elections, I follow an unusual procedure. Having filled in my initial preferences, I count the number of candidates and then identify my least favourite and work backwards towards those contenders in the middle where I am less sure. In every Irish election that I have voted in, I have ranked … Read More

Hibernia Forum talk on the future of pensions

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The Hibernia Forum is hosting a series of evening discussions over the next few months addressing some of the major issues facing Ireland. The format will involve two or three speakers on specific topics but ones connected to the wider economy and society. The first such evening will be held in Buswells Hotel, Kildare Street, Dublin on Thursday 29th June, … Read More

Varadkar played politics when he could have been reforming welfare and supporting work

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By Cormac Lucey Leo Varadkar’s rhetoric is most pleasing. He wants Fine Gael to be a party for people who get up early in the morning. As his policy ideas paper expanded further: “Fine Gael is the party for people who are ambitious for Ireland, for their family and community and for themselves personally.” These calls led to a predictable … Read More

Dole payments should be cut, not increased

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By Brendan Burgess Last week the dole was increased by €5. Cue the usual howls of protests from the poverty lobby deploring the paltriness of this increase. But let’s look at a few facts. The dole in the Republic of Ireland is €193 per week for a single person. The dole in Northern Ireland is the equivalent of €90. That … Read More

Maybe families could survive just fine without that State bonus

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 By John Lalor One common response you hear to free-market alternatives to disastrous state “solutions” is that it might work for you and me, but what about all the other people? If we leave people to themselves, the debt-collectors will be at the door, women will be chained to the sink, children will go hungry, and Fintan O’Toole will go … Read More

Irish Water report shows the cowardice of our political culture

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Eamon Delaney in the Irish Daily Mail (longer version here) This week we saw the publication of reports by two different State-created bodies. One was the Fiscal Advisory Council which warned about increases in public sector pay and about the Government running out of money for capital investment and tax cuts. The other report was from the Expert Commission on … Read More

Entitlement culture and long term dole – Varadkar asks some valid questions

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By John Lalor Fair play to Minister Varadkar : he had the temerity to – in the meekest way possible – say what a lot of the country thinks. At a Pobal conference recently, he lamented “course fatigue,” where people jump from one Community Employment course to another, never actually working in the real sense of the word. And Varadkar warned that … Read More