Opening up a new debate on social insurance

Ireland is a ‘low-insured’ economy. When it comes to both contributions and benefits this country is a laggard. What is needed is a long-term strategy that transforms social insurance from a mere ‘safety net’ to a welfare state that provides social and economic certainty to all workers. By Michael Taft.

Splashing the water

There is considerable evidence to show that NERI’s expansionary fiscal programme would work, and that Claiming our Future’s proposals to promote growth and equity in the economy are achievable. By Michael Taft.

Claiming a better future

We need to reclaim our future from a dismal repeat of the last few years, and Claiming our Future's Plan B has provided the roadmap. By Michael Taft.

Over the last four years we’ve heard the same mantra repeated on a daily basis: there is no alternative. Claiming our Future (CoF) challenges that dismal chant with the launch of its ‘Plan B:  There is an alternative to austerity’. The plan involves three key principles:

The ESRI paper - Now you see it, now you don't

The ESRI working paper withdrawn yesterday suggests that the gap between social protection income and work is not the issue regarding job take-up. What it does show up is the weakness of the Irish welfare state, especially in comparison with other European countries. By Michael Taft.

The DIY constitutional convention

The idea of constitutionalising economic and social rights is nothing new – either here or abroad. While these kinds of rights won't be debated in the Government’s charade, they could be in a People’s Convention that is rooted in civil society. By Michael Taft.

Down, down, down we go

At both European and national level the best-laid plans to resolve the euro crisis can be undermined by a lack of urgency, which in turn further limits the room for manoeuvre. As time goes on, options are becoming fewer. By Michael Taft.

There he goes again

It is becoming great sport following up the Minister for Finance’s comments Michael Noonan was at it again on This Week:

RTÉYou mentioned we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in if the Fiscal Treaty had been some years ago. This would have saved us from getting into the deficit problems we got into. But how would have that prevented that given that at the time the IMF and the European Commission were complimentary of our structural deficit?

If it feels good, run with it

It seems that in the debate around the Fiscal Treaty, you can say anything you want without any reference to truth, fact, or reality. By Michael Taft.

This economic debate is getting beyond the beyond.  RTÉ reported yesterday:

Speaking at the Bloomberg economic summit in Dublin Mr Noonan said the Irish economy is in a much better position than it was this time last year.”