The regressive season

Early indications suggest that water charges and residential property charges will not be progressive, and will disproportionately hit those on low and average incomes. By Michael Taft.

The hazard waiting in the water

The ultimate example of the risk of moral hazard is our political class. By Philip O'Connor.

After the fury over the household charge came and went, we turn our attention to the next red herring – the water meters, and the charges, and how it’s all going to be done.

When will we get the message that none of this has anything to do with water or property, and everything to do with filling the massive hole in the coffers left by the banks?

Make no mistake – they’d tax the sunset if the troika told them to.

Sins of the Father

On March 3, 2012 the New York Times published the obituary of news photographer Stan Stearns, who had died the day before at the age of 76. Stearns had taken the photograph of the 3-yr-old John F. Kennedy, Jr., in shorts and coat, saluting his slain father, President John F. Kennedy, as he passed by in a coffin mounted on a caisson and followed by a black, rider-less horse, on November 25, 1963. This photograph is Stearns' only widely known photograph. It was, however, enough to earn him immortality. That photograph of young John Kennedy went, as we would now say, viral.

Almost half of Irish adults have disposable income of less than €100 a month

Results from the first Irish League of Credit Unions What’s Left tracker index for 2012, released today, show that almost half (47%) of Irish adults have less than €100 per month left over after all essential bills have been paid. 61% have less than €150. A quarter of working adults have a disposable income of less than €50 per month.

Half of those surveyed said they have experienced a fall in disposable income compared to six months ago.

The Fiscal Treaty and its scapegoating clause

The historical basis of the Fiscal Treaty lies in German ordo-liberalism - a strand of thought which tries to make the market free by doing away with the unpredictability of politics. By Tom Boland.

So far, many commentators have drawn attention to two aspects of the Fiscal Treaty that is subject to referendum in Ireland on 31 May.

Donnelly: €1.5bn bond paid with 'hardly a murmur'

In a statement earlier today Stephen Donnelly, TD for Wicklow and East Carlow, raised the issue of today's €1.5bn payment to unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders at state-owned AIB, and pointed out that the cost of this payment per household is €1,100 - or 11 times the Household Charge. Read the full text of his statement below. 

Boiling a frog

Today the 99.8% State owned AIB pays out a senior unsecured bond of €1.5bn - marking the end of an eventful six weeks for a bank to which the Irish State has contributed €20.7bn. By Diarmuid O'Flynn.

How do you boil a live frog (had you a cruel enough mind to do so, of course)? You put it in cold water under a low flame, and with the temperature rising only very gradually the frog will sit happily in the pot until – well, until ‘hopping it’ is no longer an option.