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November 13, 2017


Colum McCaffery

Welcome back, Michael.
The difficulty for me is that many of the best off in the country (say, the top 10 - even 20 - %) see themselves as Irish workers in need of a pay rise.

Michael Taft

Thanks for that, Colum, and good to be back in discussion with you. Yes, there are a lot of people who want more money (even Montgomery Burns wants that second ivory back-scratcher). But I would prefer to address the issue at a structural level. For while, on average, Irish workers are paid less than their peer group in Europe, it is the lowest-paid that suffer disproportionately - those who work in the hospitality and distributive sectors, the precarious workers who are present in so many sectors. It is to these groups that we should focus on - and provide concrete and practical solutions. I hope to do that over the next couple of weeks. So this post merely sets up the argument. I think this approach will be something you will have sympathy with.

Michael Waddell

Glad to see you back in action . Missed your acute & detailed analysis.
All the best from here on .....

Des Derwin

Michael, I am delighted that you are back. Not just that you yourself were away. 'Notes On the Front' is simply invaluable. Without taking away from the very helpful work of other economists and political economists (some of whom might be closer to me politically), nowhere else does the combination of topical,regular, authoritative, popular, detailed and often devastating (to the orthodoxy and the spin doctors)analysis that 'Notes On the Front' provides.

Michael Taft

Michael and Des - thank you for your kind comments.

Alan P Reilly


Alan P Reilly

I didn't know you were gone because I've only just discovered your blog. However the topic is very interesting, as are the points you raise, and I look forward to reading more of your posts (and maybe even getting involved in the discussion)
Ps forgive my first post as I tried posting a comment earlier but encountered some issues and sent a 'hi' as a test


Saw on the CLR that you're back in action - great news!

Good point made with statistical evidence we have come to expect from you.

Quick question - how much of that GNI is due to RoI-facilitated tax scamming - i.e. production that took place elsewhere that is registered in Ireland to avoid paying corporation tax?

Totally legally of course :-)

Michael Taft

GW - GNI* is a genuine attempt by the CSO to remove the distortions of multi-national activity. It removes re-domiciled activity along with IP and aircraft leasing distortions. Once all this is done, GNI* comes in below 70% of the headline GDP figure.

That said, given the role MNCs play in our economy - in particular the multitude of holding companies, SPVs, subsidiaries (yes, all 'legal' and 'transparent), etc. we shouldn't be surprised if GNI* still falls short. However, fair dues to the CSO for producing this figure. It is a figure that can be used for a range of comparative measurements.

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