Why We Don’t Get What We Vote For

Why young people are not being represented and what they can do about it

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Originally posted on Campus.ie

Pat Leahy wrote a piece in the Sunday Business Post, arguing that Fine Gael are going to war to get the “the middle-ground voters who feel they have a stake in society.”

Leahy didn’t say anything that wasn’t conventional wisdom. Representing other groups is nice, but at the end of the day, it’s the middle who will make or break a party.

We see this reflected in how the parties are campaigning. Each of their key issues speaks to the middle aged tax payer.

We also saw the same thing in the last budget, the budget which supposedly gave something to everyone, except to young people.

The 2011 Census showed there are about 350,000 people aged 13-18, and this group is now at prime university age, 18-23. There are also around the same number of people in the age group just above, aged 24-29. Therefore, more than 1 in 6 people is a ‘young person’.

You would then expect that about 1 in 6 policies would cater to young people, and so would 1 in 6 politicians.

While it goes without saying that young people are not a homogenous group, there are certain issues which affect us particularly which have passed notice and gone under the radar.

Continue reading “Why We Don’t Get What We Vote For”

Why a 23 percent Flat Tax Leads to Inequality

An examination of the economics of flat taxes

RENUA propose introducing a single 23% tax on any income over €8,000, including welfare payments, and abolishing the Universal Social Charge (USC) and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI).

 

Currently Ireland has two basic rates of income, 20% and 40%. Depending whether you are single, a lone parent or married the higher rate of tax kicks in between €33,800 and €42,800. Everything below this amount is still taxed at 20%.

 

Therefore you won’t take home less because you’ve moved into the higher bracket.

 

This is called a progressive tax system. The idea is that those who can afford to contribute more to the public system should pay more.

 

Proponents of the flat tax model argue that it is a fairer system to charge everyone the same rate, and that the progressive tax model essentially penalises those who work.

 

They also suggest that a simpler system of tax would free up resources to tackle those trading on the black market, such as under the table cash payments for services, which currently totals over €20 billion a year.

 

RENUA leader Lucinda Creighton also argues that the lower tax rate would mean that there would be 20% more in disposable income which people would reinvest back into the economy by increasing spending on goods and services.

 

However there are two specific issues with the idea of a flat tax. The first issue is the unequal impacts of having the same rate of tax regardless of earning.

Continue reading “Why a 23 percent Flat Tax Leads to Inequality”