Construction, not rent control, the solution to the housing crisis

Today sees the publication of the latest Rental Report. The full report is available here, while below are my thoughts on what the latest report tells us. Most analysis of the housing market – both sales and rental – is currently done through the lens of the last housing bubble and where it was […]

Slow and steady: Ireland’s competitiveness, five years on

One of the mantras of Celtic Tiger Ireland was that it was a rip-off Republic. And indeed, by 2006, Ireland had overtaken Finland to become the most expensive place in the eurozone for consumer goods. Mid-2008 marked a turning point, however, and the combination of global economic turmoil and local economic depression meant that prices […]

Another fine mess! So you want to value some properties…

Dear Government, Well, you can’t say you weren’t warned. Yes, it was a noisy time for all concerned, with plenty of people telling you they didn’t want to pay any sort of property tax, no matter how cleverly designed. But still, there were those of us who argued all year long for a smart tax […]

Property tax – it’s not rocket science!

Ireland’s struggle to introduce a property tax continues, as does the public’s fixation with it. A minor bullet point in this update to the IMF-EU “troika”, confirming what was already decided – that Ireland is going to bring in a value-based property tax – is (along with that other staple of Irish debate, abortion) leading […]

Sovereignty is over-rated, society is under-rated – address to this year’s Parnell Summer School

After a bit of a break from blogging for a variety of reasons (not least getting married!), an invitation to speak at this year’s Parnell Summer School provided the perfect opportunity to find my voice again. Based in Parnell’s family home, in Avondale House, County Wicklow – one of the most picturesque spots in arguably […]

The Austerity Games: Ireland’s Fiscal Treaty referendum redux

A few important concepts have gone out the window as the debate in Ireland about the referendum on the Fiscal Compact has descended into political games. Perhaps the first victim was cause-and-effect, with the  mere correlation of banking debts and government deficits being translated by many into iron-cast causation. A close second in the casualty […]

Paying tax in Ireland: Where the richest (and poorest) pay

The companion post to this one discussed the different issues around measuring who pays what in tax in Ireland. It also asks you to give your own thoughts (free from the constraints of the data!), so if you haven’t yet read it, please do before reading on. – The post from 2009 outlined how the […]

Who pays tax in Ireland? The little quiz revisited

Nearly three years ago, I posted a little quiz on Ireland’s income tax. There were four questions – on what percentage of income was taken in tax for the typical millionaire and for the typical worker, on what proportion of workers paid less than 10% in tax and what rate they *should* pay. The answers […]

Wealth taxes and property taxes in Ireland: understanding the tax base

The end of the first quarter of 2012 saw not just the usual quarterly reports – such as the Q1 2012 House Price Report discussed elsewhere on the blog – but also the deadline for paying the €100 Household Charge. The charge has been the focus of a campaign of resistance that is surely […]

The Fiscal Compact – Vote Yes to Silliness (It’s all about the cash)

Last week, I outlined some of the many reasons why the EU’s Fiscal Compact should have been sent back to the drawing board when first seen by European leaders and their economic advisers. The experience of Spain since then sums these up pretty well. Spain had been given a target deficit of 4.4% of GDP […]




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