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July 03, 2012


Desmond O'Toole

Excellent and informative post, Michael. Add the lack of residential property taxes (HHC excepted) and the absence of water charges to the low levels of social insurance paid in Ireland and is it any wonder that we have a fiscal crisis. Pretty much gives the lie to the claims of the tax dodging campaign currently being run on Oireachtas expenses by Messrs Higgins and Co. If we want European levels of social protection and public services in Ireland we're all going to have to get used to paying European levels of tax and social insurance, including residential and water charges.


Ah, there's Des again dying to open his pockets and dish out european levels of tax.

Michael - this is indeed interesting. Not least because it starts with increasing employers contributions and not another slap at low/medium paid.

John Goodwillie

The sentence of which too little is made is "If employees’ PRSI is increased by 1 percent, introduce an earnings-related unemployment benefit". Is it not correct to say that in other European countries earnings-related social insurance payments are as important, if not more important, than flat-rate payments? And should not the argument take this into consideration?

"For the self-employed, rates are one of the lowest in the EU-15."

Nice one, Michael, calling out the self-employed for the low rate of PRSI they pay.

But wait, somehow by-far the biggest hole in PSRI contributions has slipped your mind!

How could that have happened? Certainly no question of bias on your part. But let me remind you in any case ...

Public servants who joined pre-1994 are effectively exempt from paying PRSI. Public servants who joined after that date notionally pay PRSI, but since they were granted a higher salary scale to exactly compensate them for the change, it involves close-to-zero cost to them.

So we have a situation where the state either exempts, or pays the PRSI on behalf of, hundreds of thousands of workers.

How could that glaring anomaly possibly have escaped your forensic gaze?

Go on, Michael, don't be shy! You did know about it, right, but chose not to mention such a highly germane fact.

So back of an envelope calculation, simply closing off that anomaly would raise in excess of 500 million euro and make a huge hole in the social fund deficit.

Yet, for some reason, you would prefer to increase payroll taxes, adding to disincentives-to-hire that firms already face.

What an odd trade-off, preferring to keep unemployment high than to treat public servants like any other worker.

home insurance vero beach

What an odd trade-off, choosing to keep lack of employment great than to cure community servants like any other employee.

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