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September 08, 2009



Erm. Your dates are looking funny. Yhis post says August 8, and the one from a few days ago says August 5.

Michael Taft

Thanks for that Tipster. I guess I just don't want to let go of summer.

t g macamhloaibh

Thanks for the post. As always, it's very informative and I look forward to further articles in the same vein.

Btw, the idea of a progressive tax proposal document is not only 'progressive' but important. Will we plebs be able to access it? It might just start off some debates within the progressive bloc and beyond. All the running is in the MSM and so many people are just impervious to what's occuring.

Joanna Tuffy


You did a post a while back 'How Middle is Middle class' where you work out from the CSO figures the median income. What would be the up to date median income if you worked it out on the same basis?


Joanna Tuffy

Hugh Green

Splendid appearance with an excellent parting shot on Prime Time last night, Michael.

Michael Taft

Joanna – the figures come from the CSO’s EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions. The latest data we have is from 2007. It states that the average net disposable household income was €47,988. Unfortunately, there is no median figure for households. The EU Survey uses ‘median’ but mostly in the context of poverty measurements.

However, there is some data that allows us to find, sometimes in a roundabout way, what median figures are for certain categories. For instance, in 2007 for single people, no children, the median income was €19,747. For a couple with two children, it was €45,815. Both these figures would include social transfers so we can see how important Child Benefit is for low and middle income families. For instance, for an average income household (€43,000) ‘family/children related allowances’ made up over 8 percent of their disposable income. Child Benefit would be the main social transfer under this heading.

Where the EU Survey is very helpful is in charting the income rise by decile groups. For instance, between 2003 (the first year of the publication) and 2007, the top 10 percent income group experienced a 41 percent rise in working income; all other income groups averaged 28 percent.

The CSO will be publishing the new 2008 stats in November and I hope to work up some numbers then. It will also be interesting to see how people are faring during the first year of the recession. If there’s any other numbers I can provide, let me know.

Thanks for the comment, Hugh. Somewhat frustrating to discuss a 500 page report in 8 minutes, especially when so much time is taken on the one proposal least likely to be implemented - property tax.


Things have moved on for Colm McCarthy in recent days.

It is ludicrous that he now feels free to call for further public pay cuts.

Still a direct contributer to Irish economic thinking, Colm was until recently construction economist in Davy and a central figure in the construction boom, which contributed to the fiscal crisis we find ourselves in.

Joanna Tuffy


Many thanks for that.

I took the liberty of refererencing you in my article on my blog the link to which I attach:

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