The Irish Government has made budget choices in the last two years to cut benefits and jobs for the lower paid and to increase taxation on lower income groups, and at the same time have contributed to making the rich richer. In 2010 the gap between the richest and poorest in Ireland grew by more than 25 per cent during 2010.
The FG / Labour Government means to continue with the same strategy, of keeping low taxation on higher incomes, while cutting benefits, cutting jobs, and increasing the tax burden on the lower paid and unemployed people.
The Government calls income tax a "tax on employment" - a quite bizarre spin - while raising VAT (one of the highest VAT levels in Europe) - which is a tax on employment, and which hits the lower paid and small businesses most.
A report by the National Suicide Research Foundation on statistics on self-harm and death by suicide in 2011 showed that numbers dying have gone up, and that economic distress is among the causes - in particular unemployment, loss of income and loss of home.
Is there not a strong case to balance the budget mainly by increased income and asset taxes on the well off ?
CSO Report: Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2010
Michael Taft's comment on on the Report.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...314010417.htmlA Central Statistics Office report on income and living conditions shows the average income of the top 20 per cent of earners was 5.5 times greater than those in the lowest 20 per cent.
This inequality ratio – up from 4.3 a year earlier – is the highest figure on record since this measurement was first used in 2004.
The CSO’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions in Ireland is the official source of data on household and individual income and also provides key poverty indicators. It found that average disposable income for Irish households in 2010 was €22,168, a 5 per cent drop from the 2009 figure of €23,326. This is the lowest figure recorded since 2006.
The survey shows poverty rates are on the rise in Ireland. The number of people experiencing consistent poverty rose from 5.5 per cent in 2009 to 6.2 per cent in 2010.
Consistent poverty is defined as having an income of less than €10,831 during 2010 and experiencing various forms of enforced deprivation on an ongoing basis.
This figure is based on 60 per cent or less of the median disposable income – €18,051 – combined with being unable to afford at least two of 11 recognised indicators of deprivation, such as sufficient heating or clothing.
Children were among the most exposed to consistent poverty when broken down by age. A total of just over 8 per cent experienced this form of poverty in 2010. By contrast, just under 1 per cent of over-65s were living in consistent poverty over the same period.
Out of all the different forms of households, those at work were the hardest hit, a reflection of how unemployment and wage cuts have affected standards of living.
Single adults of working age, for example, showed the highest consistent poverty rate at just over 11 per cent in 2010, up from 8 per cent in 2009.
There was also an increase in people at risk of poverty. This equates to a disposable income of €10,831 or less, but without indicators of enforced deprivation.