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OECD report an indictment of Government policy - Morgan

12 October, 2006

Sinn Féin Enterprise and Employment spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD, speaking following the publication of a new study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which found that level of wealth distribution in the state is among the lowest in the OECD, said that the report was an indictment of Government policies. He called for significant measures in Budget 2007 to begin redressing the unacceptable inequalities in wealth distribution.

The Louth TD said: "A new study by the OECD has reportedly found that the level of wealth distribution in Ireland is among the lowest in the OECD. It found that this state ranked 27th out of its 30 member states when it comes to so-called 'social transfers'.

"The wealth created in the last decade has not been distributed amongst the people. This is only the most recent in a long list of reports highlighting the growing levels of inequality in the state. The United Nations Human Development Report published in 2003 showed inequality in the 26 counties is higher than in any other Western state apart from the United States. It is no surprise that we ranks so low in terms of wealth distribution -- wage differentials are growing while the tax system is littered with unjust advantages for the better off and with features which penalise those on low and middle incomes.

"The advantages for the wealthy include tax expenditures with no social benefit which are further enriching the already well-off and minimal taxes on wealth. Earners above the PRSI ceiling pay proportionally less for the same benefits. On the other hand high indirect taxes are hitting lower income families hardest.

"Minister Cowen must take note of the findings of the OCED report and ensure that Budget 2007 includes comprehensive measures to advance the objective of equality and wealth re-distribution including removing regressive features in the tax system and using the wealth that has been created to enhance social protections. Budget 2007 must also include measures to assist low income families cope with rising prices including rising energy costs."


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