Income Inequality and Public Policy
This paper briefly summarises the evidence that Ireland has a relatively high level of income inequality, which has been rather stable over time and reflects institutional legacies and choices made in the past. A comparative and over time perspective suggests that modest reductions in income inequality are achievable within the framework of Ireland’s current socioeconomic model, but bringing it below the (EU or OECD) average may well be beyond the capacity of that model. The current financial, fiscal and economic crises require very substantial increases in tax revenue and reductions in state spending. The imperative to close the fiscal deficit provides a window of opportunity to restructure the tax system in a fashion that is not only more economically efficient but also more equitable. Another core aim should be to minimise the number experiencing long-term unemployment and thus the long-term impact of the recession on labour market careers. Once the most immediate needs of the situation are met, this context may provide an opportunity to debate fundamental questions about the role of the state, the extent and nature of social provision and its financing, and the broader relationship between economic performance, the Welfare State, and the underlying goals of Ireland’s socio-economic policy.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:40:y:2009:i:4:p:489-510. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martina Lawless)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.