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UPDATE:SUPER-RICH IRISH AWASH WITH MONEY!

(SEE ALSO on this Blog:  Tax Evasion by Irish Rich    http://wp.me/pKzXa) 


 

 Shameful 2020 Budget Worsens the Rich-Poor Divide in Irish Society

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The Rich Avoid Taxes, the Rest Pay the Price  https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

A new book looks at the cost to society and to democracy of allowing the super-rich to pay almost no tax-Professor of Politics at UCD in SB Post

“Ireland has excelled at providing professional accountancy and legal services to wealthy individuals and corporations on how to minimise their tax obligations.”

Summary

Capital income is becoming tax-free.

In USA,  Multibillionaires pay Less Tax than those who earn $18,500.

Tax avoidance is the main contributing factor to the explosion in US income and wealth inequality.

Tax avoidance by the ultra-rich increases inequality, undermines democracy, and creates a plutocracy. In order to ensure that the rich pay their fair share of taxes, Saez and Zucman propose several policy solutions. The main one is a net wealth tax of 3 per cent on billionaires. This proposal now underpins Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic election campaign.

By Aidan Regan, Associate Professor of Politics, UCD, SB POST Nov 17, 2019

“Ireland has excelled at providing professional accountancy and legal services to wealthy individuals and corporations on how to minimise their tax obligations. These firms and individuals are often held up as the architects of Ireland’s growth model, turning the little island of Ireland into a story of rags to riches…….

 

“It is true that Zuckerberg(Facebook) paid corporate income tax. But with the help of Ireland, among others, Facebook can shift these profits to Bermuda, and significantly reduce the corporate income tax on these profits. Low corporate taxes mean the ultra-rich can basically get away with paying nothing. Even without the support of financial opacity in tax havens, corporate income tax rates globally have fallen from an average of 49 per cent in the 1980s to 25 per cent today.”

 

Full Article:   Capital income is becoming tax-free.

This is the bold claim of Immanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in their new book, The Triumph of Tax Injustice – How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay.

Saez and Zucman are the world’s leading economists on the question of corporate tax avoidance. They’ve moved far away from the ivory tower of academia, and launched themselves into the US presidential election debate by designing Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax.

Saez and Zucman open their book with an astute observation. On live TV, during the 2016 US presidential election campaign, Hillary Clinton challenged Donald Trump on his tax affairs. Trump brazenly admitted that he avoided paying taxes, declaring that this “makes him smart”. He then pointed out that many of the donors to the Clinton campaign do the same thing. Rich people are smart. This is why they avoid tax. This is why they are rich.

The idea that avoiding taxes is smart is a widely held view, albeit one that is rarely spoken. There is an entire industry dedicated to it. Ireland has excelled at providing professional accountancy and legal services to wealthy individuals and corporations on how to minimise their tax obligations. These firms and individuals are often held up as the architects of Ireland’s growth model, turning the little island of Ireland into a story of rags to riches.

Those who provide services to facilitate multinationals to avoid paying corporate tax are certainly clever. They provide a gift to the richest of the rich in America. Reducing taxes on corporate income increases the profits that can be distributed to shareholders. These shareholders are typically rich individuals who own large amounts of business assets. The fact that promoting tax avoidance undermines democracy is conveniently left unspoken.

The justification for tax avoidance is that capitalism harnesses human greed for the common good. Giving the rich tax-free income means more investment and more jobs. The idea behind this is trickle-down economics. But you will be hard pressed to find any economist who believes in this idea any more. Tax avoidance just means a growth in top incomes for the highest earners. This means more savings and more luxury consumption for the rich. It is the main contributing factor to the explosion in US income and wealth inequality.

The income share of the US top 1 per cent has doubled from 10 per cent to 20 per cent over the past two decades. Meanwhile, their tax contributions have declined. In 1970, the richest Americans paid more than 50 per cent of their income in taxes. In 2018, they paid around 20 per cent. Furthermore, and this is the shock headline of Saez and Zucman’s book, the richest 400 billionaires in America pay less tax today than the bottom 50 per cent of the population. Multibillionaires pay less tax than those who earn $18,500. For Saez and Zucman, this is the triumph of tax injustice.

As a per cent of their overall income, the richest 400 Americans pay less than the poorest in society. The reason for this is that the US has instituted a giant flat tax, which means that those who earn less pay more as a total of their income. When you add all local, consumption, payroll, state and federal taxes, the average American worker pays 28 per cent of their income in taxes. This equals an average of $20,000 per worker every year. This is not the case for the rich, who pay an effective tax rate of 20 per cent. The US used to have a highly progressive income tax regime. But since the 1980s, it has become steeply regressive.

To study income distribution, it is useful to separate society into four different groups: the working class (bottom 50 per cent), the middle class (middle 40 per cent), the upper middle class (top 9 per cent), and the rich (the top 1 per cent). Within the top 1 per cent, there are also two different worlds – the millionaires and billionaires (typically in the top 0.01 per cent). Saez and Zucman’s contribution is to calculate exactly how much tax each group pays as a percentage of their total income.

US national income is just over $18.5 trillion. If you divide this up into a pie and distribute it accordingly, the top 10 per cent take 46 per cent of total income. Within this, the top 1 per cent take a massive 20 per cent slice, which has doubled since the 1980s. The middle 40 per cent take 40 per cent of national income, whereas the bottom 50 per cent take a mere 12 per cent of total income. The story of the US is the struggle of the working class, and the decline of social mobility out of this group.

The average income of working-class Americans (half the American population) is $18,500. The middle class earn on average $75,000. This makes them one of the most prosperous groups in the world. The average income of the upper middle class (21 million people) is $220,000. The average income of the 2.4 million richest Americans (the 1 per cent) is $1.5 million. For Saez and Zucman, when it comes to understanding the steeply regressive nature of taxes, the main faultline in US society is between the top 1 per cent and the rest.

So which social group pays what exactly in taxes? As a general rule, taxes on labour are paid by workers, while taxes on capital are paid by capital asset owners. Consumption taxes are paid by all consumers. Every American pays an average 28 per cent tax rate. However, when private health insurance contributions are included, taxes on the working class increase to around 30 per cent, and almost 40 per cent for the middle class. This then decreases for the top 1 per cent to about 28 per cent, and for the ultra-wealthy, it is lowered further to 23 per cent.

One of the main reasons why the rich pay less tax is that a lot of their income has become tax-free. Only 63 per cent of total income in America is taxable. One of the reasons for this is that capital income is becoming tax-free. Capital income taxes on dividends and pensions accounts have been reduced significantly since the 1980s. Capital gains taxes have also been reduced to an average of 20 per cent. And perhaps most importantly, undistributed corporate profits are tax-free. Capital income is becoming more and more legally exempt from taxation.

The rich pay less because more of their income is exempt from taxation. Ninety-nine per cent of the population earn their living from labour income – wages. Taxes on wages have actually gone up over time. But for the top 1 per cent, half their income comes from capital income, whereas for multibillionaires, it is over two-thirds. This means that for the richest of the rich in America, two-thirds of their income is taxed less than the wages of the working and middle classes of America. Donald Trump’s recent tax reform was a gift to multibillionaires like himself. The only form of income that did not get a tax cut in this radical fiscal reform were wages.

There are multiple examples that can be used to show how capital income avoids taxation. Saez and Zucman use the example of Mark Zuckerberg. He owns 20 per cent of Facebook, which made $20 billion in profit in 2018. Therefore his income was $4 billion. But Facebook did not pay dividends in 2018, so this income was not subject to taxation. Not paying dividends and buying back stock is a useful way to avoid tax. The widely held practice of having liquid cash in the bank is really only something that matters to working and middle-class families.

It is true that Zuckerberg paid corporate income tax. But with the help of Ireland, among others, Facebook can shift these profits to Bermuda, and significantly reduce the corporate income tax on these profits. Low corporate taxes mean the ultra-rich can basically get away with paying nothing. Even without the support of financial opacity in tax havens, corporate income tax rates globally have fallen from an average of 49 per cent in the 1980s to 25 per cent today.

The poor pay a lot because of payroll taxes, which have increased from 3 per cent to 15 per cent from the 1980s until today. Meanwhile, US wages have stagnated. The consumption of the poor is also taxed much more heavily. The consumption of the rich is not. Unlike Europe, there is no Vat system in America. There is just consumption taxes. Large amounts of the services the rich use are not taxed as consumption. For example, using the services of a corporate lawyer is tax-free. Going to see the opera is tax-free. But buying food and petrol is taxed.

Sales taxes consume 10 per cent of poor people’s income, whereas it is less than 1 per cent for the rich. As Saez and Zucman point out, there is no tax haven for the poor. Historically, the US used to have a much fairer tax system. Federal income taxes were introduced to offset the regressive nature of consumption taxes, and to reduce inequality. In the aftermath of World War II, the US pioneered progressive income taxes. Unlike Europe, who experimented with nationalisations, the US used the fiscal tools of the state to ensure a rising tide lifts all boats.

The tax-free income bonanza for the rich can be traced to politics and ideas. Since Ronald Reagan declared that taxation is a form of theft, the industry dedicated to legally avoiding taxes boomed. This industry legitimised itself by legally distinguishing between tax evasion and avoidance. The working classes and small businesses evaded taxes, while their rich clients simply avoided them, through tax planning. Until recently, within the economics profession, there’s also been a widely held view that capital is mobile, and therefore it will move to where it pays less tax. On this basis, we might as well make it tax-free.

With some notable exceptions, this view is increasingly being challenged. Not only does legally exempting capital income from taxation fundamentally undermine the social contract of democracy, it fuels popular resentment against globalisation and open borders. Why keep faith in globalisation if all it does is enrich the wealthiest at the expense of everyone else? Furthermore, there is growing research showing that legally exempting capital income from taxation undermines market competition, while enhancing rent-seeking monopolies.

More generally, by legally exempting capital income, the US government is missing out on a huge amount of lost revenue to fund public goods. Saez and Zucman show how increasing taxes on the rich could facilitate a reduction of taxation on wage income, while increasing the total amount of revenue available to the US to invest in education and healthcare.

Tax avoidance by the ultra-rich increases inequality, undermines democracy, and creates a plutocracy. In order to ensure that the rich pay their fair share of taxes, Saez and Zucman propose several policy solutions. The main one is a net wealth tax of 3 per cent on billionaires. This proposal now underpins Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic election campaign. It is designed to ensure that the stock of wealth is taxed instead of the flow of income. If it had been in place since 1982, Bill Gates would be worth $42 billion today, instead of $97 billion. Jeff Bezos would be worth $95 billion, instead of $160 billion. Needless to say, the rich don’t like it.

But it is worth asking the question – what’s the social utility of giving multibillionaires extra billions? Does it really make a difference if someone has one hundred thousand million instead of one hundred and fifty thousand million? If multibillionaires knew their stock of wealth will be taxed, maybe they’d be forced to spend it on new and better entrepreneurial investments, instead of hoarding it as stock, and using it to monopolise markets? Or maybe instead of these billions sitting idly in individual stock, the democratic state could redirect these resources into public investments, such as guaranteeing free university education?

Aidan Regan is an associate professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin

Aidan Regan is an Associate Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin (UCD). He is Director of UCD’s Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in the New Political Economy of Europe( But not a Jean Monnet Professor???), and Director of Graduate Master Studies at the School of Politics. Prior to UCD, Aidan was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Germany (MPIfG), and a Max Weber postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) in Italy. Aidan completed his PhD in Public Policy at the College of Social Science at UCD, whilst also working at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS), at the University of Amsterdam. Aidan’s research is focused on the comparative political economy of Europe. In particular, he specialises in the comparative politics of the eurozone crisis, industrial relations, housing markets and the welfare state. His work has appeared in various scientific journals including Perspectives on Politics, Politics and Society, New Political Economy, the Journal for Common Market Studies, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Comparative European Politics, Socio-Economic Review, Intereconomics, among other outlets. Aidan is a network organiser at the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), and the Council for European Studies (CES). He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate modules at UCD, including Capitalism and Democracy, the Politics of Inequality, and the Political Economy of Europe.

+35317168154

aidan.regan@ucd.ie

University College Dublin, School of Politics and International Relations, Newman Building Belfield Dublin 4

http://www.aidanregan.com/

 

————————————————————Deputy Seamus Healy TD: I call on the Government, and Ministers of State Deputy Finian McGrath and Deputy Halligan in particular, to introduce a supplementary budget to do the right thing, to give at least the increase that Social Justice Ireland is looking for, €9 per week, and ensure the minimum wage is increased accordingly. https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

Dáil Speech on Social Welfare(NO 2) Bill, Seamus Healy TD Nov 13

Social Justice Ireland  states the poverty gap has widened as a result of the budget and as a result of the implementation of the measures in this Bill.

I welcome the opportunity to speak to the Bill. I also welcome the measures contained in the Bill such as the Christmas bonus, the increase in the living alone allowance, the 35,000 hot meals to be provided for school children and other similar provdisions. What is contained in a Bill, however, is not always what is most important and this Bill is a classic example. What is not included in it is very important. It will, effectively, implement a freeze on social welfare payments and the national minimum wage. It will implement the measures included in a budget that was deeply regressive, cut the living standards of the poorest families in society, is socially unjust and will widen the gap between rich and poor. The excuse for doing this in the past, of course, was austerity. The excuse this time is Brexit. There is, however, no justification whatsoever for implementing a freeze.

Many independent organisations, agencies and individuals confirm that there is great need in society and that money is available to address them.

Social Justice Ireland, for instance, has described the budget as a betrayal of the most vulnerable in society. It is worth reading a small paragraph of its analysis. It states:

Budget 2020 failed in its basic task to protect the vulnerable. While TDs will see their salaries rise by about €1,600 in the coming year (€30 a week) many of Ireland’s most vulnerable people will see their welfare payments remain unchanged.

Among other things they will face additional increases in the cost of food – [and] public transport as a result of increased carbon tax.

Social Justice Ireland also states the poverty gap has widened as a result of the budget and as a result of the implementation of the measures in this Bill. It states:

One in every six people in Ireland lives with an income below the poverty line (15.7% of the population). Based on the latest CSO data, this corresponds to approximately 760,000 people. Social Justice Ireland has consistently pointed out that a lesson from previous experiences is that the vulnerable in our society get left behind unless welfare increases keep pace with increases elsewhere in the economy.

Social Justice Ireland calls for an increase of €9 per week in social welfare payments across the board to keep in line with cost increases.

The ESRI states in its commentary that the budget had a greater impact on the incomes of poor households. It has calculated that the budget will reduce the incomes of the poorest 10% of households by 3%. Mr. Michael Taft, a trade union economist, explains that pensioners will, as a result of the budget and the fact that there is no increase for pensioners in this Bill, be less well off to the tune of €168 per year. He states that keeping pace with inflation and what the Government has forecast to be cost of living would require at least €3.22 more per week. Government inflation forecasts are 0.9% in 2019, 1.3% in 2020 and 1.4% in 2021. Therefore, it would take a minimum increase of €3.22 per week for pensioners to maintain their current standard of living.

We know already that middle and low-income families and social welfare recipients struggle daily to make ends meet. They have hardly two cent to rub together at the end of the week. Any additional costs whatsoever, such as costs associated with an unexpected illness, bereavement, Holy Communion or confirmation, puts them into debt and puts serious pressure on low-income families.

We know from many agencies that circumstances are very difficult for the low-income families. The ESRI and CSO have pointed out that there are 760,000 living below the poverty line. We are aware that there are 110,000 working poor and 137,000 working on the minimum wage. There are 230,000 children living below the poverty line. Some 28% of the population experience fuel poverty, and 44.5% of lone-parent families experience deprivation. We are aware that the lowest 10% of income earners pay the same percentage of their income in tax as the wealthiest 10%. Therefore, it is shameful that the Government has frozen the incomes of these poorer families. Worse still, it is not just a freeze but a cut to the income of pensioners, social welfare recipients and those on the minimum wage. There is no justification for that.

There is money available to pay increases to the affected groups. The Social Insurance Fund is currently in surplus to the tune of €1.4 billion. Only yesterday, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Paschal Donohoe, told us that Ireland’s fiscal position for 2019 would be better than the 0.2% budget surplus he forecast about a month ago. He went on to say he would deliver a budget surplus of in excess of 0.5% in 2020. Therefore, the money exists.

Ireland is one of the richest countries in the world. In fact, it is the eighth richest. Recent studies shows that the top 10% of wealthy people in this country own 58.4% of all wealth. The top 5% own 46.4% of all wealth, and the top 1% own 27.3% of all wealth. It is worth thinking about that. These figures prompted the well-known economist David McWilliams to propose a wealth tax. He stated wealth tax revenue of anything from €2 billion to €20 billion could be collected on a sliding scale, depending on whether a tax of 0.5% or 5% is imposed and the category for which it is introduced. A minimum of €2 billion in wealth tax revenue would be available to the Government if it were prepared to make exceptionally wealthy people pay their fair share of tax. Of course, the Government chose to support very wealthy individuals through the assignee relief scheme. Some €28 million was available, meaning individuals could gain up to €130,000 per year in tax relief.

Studies shows there are 2,055 super-rich individuals in this country. This is the fifth highest proportion in the world, ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan. We have 421 super-rich individuals per 1 million of the population of the State, yet there is no wealth tax. The financial assets of the richest 10% in this country are now worth €50 billion more than at the peak of the boom, which was in 2006. Again, there is no taxation of these super-rich individuals. We hear regularly about broadening the tax base. I suggest to the Minister that it is about time we broadened it to force the super-wealthy individuals to pay their fair share of tax and support society generally.

The figures I have given show there is no justification whatsoever for cutting the income of pensioners, social welfare recipients and workers on the minimum wage. We know what they need. The Government has the money and a means of getting money to make a reasonable payment available to poorer families. It is worth reminding the House that this Bill not only freezes the income of poorer families but also cuts it. I call on the Government, and Ministers of State Deputy Finian McGrath and Deputy Halligan in particular, to introduce a supplementary budget to do the right thing, to give at least the increase that Social Justice Ireland is looking for, €9 per week, and ensure the minimum wage is increased accordingly.

What has happened in the budget and what will be implemented in this legislation is unacceptable. There is a great need out there and the Government has the money and the wherewithal to tackle the situation and to give reasonable increases to families that are poor and families that are under pressure every day of the week.

 

 

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty  TD

“Several Deputies expressed disappointment at the lack of across-the-board increases for all of the people whom I and my Department have the privilege of serving. I share their disappointment. It is a pity that we are in a situation whereby we must stall what has been the practice in the past couple of years of increasing payments across the schemes. I know how difficult it is for people to live on that single income on which they are entirely reliant.”

Paddy Healy:Total Hypocracy. The Social Insurance Fund had a surplus of contributions over paid benefits of 1.4 billion in 2019. The total Increase in the spending budget of the Minister’s entire department was far

—————————————————————-Josef Stiglitz: ‘Unfettered neoliberalism will literally destroy our civilisation – it’s time for a new era of Enlightenment’

Influence: Stock markets can have more power than a country’s citizens.

Josef Stiglitz Irish Independent, November 7 2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a celebrated essay called ‘The End of History?’ Communism’s collapse, he argued, would clear the last obstacle separating the entire world from its destiny of liberal democracy and market economies. Many people agreed.

Today, as we face a retreat from the rules-based, liberal global order, with autocratic rulers and demagogues leading countries that contain well over half the world’s population, Fukuyama’s idea seems quaint and naive. But it reinforced the neoliberal economic doctrine that has prevailed for the last 40 years.

The credibility of neoliberalism’s faith in unfettered markets as the surest road to shared prosperity is on life-support these days. And well it should be. The simultaneous waning of confidence in neoliberalism and in democracy is no coincidence or mere correlation. Neoliberalism has undermined democracy for 40 years.

The form of globalisation prescribed by neoliberalism left individuals and entire societies unable to control an important part of their own destiny, as Dani Rodrik of Harvard University has explained so clearly, and as I argue in my recent books ‘Globalisation and Its Discontents Revisited’ and ‘People, Power, and Profits’.

The effects of capital-market liberalisation were particularly odious: if a leading presidential candidate in an emerging market lost favour with Wall Street, the banks would pull their money out of the country. Voters then faced a stark choice: Give in to Wall Street or face a severe financial crisis.

It was as if Wall Street had more political power than the country’s citizens.

Even in rich countries, ordinary citizens were told, “You can’t pursue the policies you want” – whether adequate social protection, decent wages, progressive taxation, or a well-regulated financial system – “because the country will lose competitiveness, jobs will disappear, and you will suffer”.

In rich and poor countries alike, elites promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off.

To get there, though, workers would have to accept lower wages, and all citizens would have to accept cutbacks in important government programmes.

The elites claimed that their promises were based on scientific economic models and “evidence-based research”.

Well, after 40 years, the numbers are in: growth has slowed, and the fruits of that growth went overwhelmingly to a very few at the top.

As wages stagnated and the stock market soared, income and wealth flowed up, rather than trickling down.

How can wage restraint – to attain or maintain competitiveness – and reduced government programmes possibly add up to higher standards of living? Ordinary citizens felt like they had been sold a bill of goods. They were right to feel conned.

We are now experiencing the political consequences of this grand deception: distrust of the elites, of the economic “science” on which neoliberalism was based, and of the money-corrupted political system that made it all possible.

The reality is that, despite its name, the era of neoliberalism was far from liberal. It imposed an intellectual orthodoxy whose guardians were utterly intolerant of dissent. Economists with heterodox views were treated as heretics to be shunned, or at best shunted off to a few isolated institutions. Neoliberalism bore little resemblance to the “open society” that Karl Popper had advocated. As George Soros has emphasised, Popper recognised that our society is a complex, ever-evolving system in which the more we learn, the more our knowledge changes the behaviour of the system.

Nowhere was this intolerance greater than in macroeconomics, where the prevailing models ruled out the possibility of a crisis like the one we experienced in 2008. When the impossible happened, it was treated as if it were a 500-year flood – a freak occurrence that no model could have predicted. Even today, advocates of these theories refuse to accept that their belief in self-regulating markets and their dismissal of externalities as either non-existent or unimportant led to the deregulation that was pivotal in fuelling the crisis. The theory continues to survive, with Ptolemaic attempts to make it fit the facts, which attests to the reality that bad ideas, once established, often have a slow death.

If the 2008 financial crisis failed to make us realise that unfettered markets don’t work, the climate crisis certainly should: neoliberalism will literally bring an end to our civilisation. But it is also clear that demagogues who would have us turn our back on science and tolerance will only make matters worse.

The only way forward, the only way to save our planet and our civilisation, is a rebirth of history. We must revitalise the Enlightenment and recommit to honouring its values of freedom, respect for knowledge, and democracy. (© Project Syndicate, 2019)

——————————————————Guardian: Decades of Free Market Orthodoxy have Damaged Democracy

Neoliberalism has undermined democracy for 40 years. https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

“The simultaneous waning of confidence in neoliberalism and in democracy is no coincidence or mere correlation.

“The form of globalisation prescribed by neoliberalism left individuals and entire societies unable to control an important part of their own destiny…

“Even in rich countries, ordinary citizens were told: ‘You can’t pursue the policies you want’ – whether adequate social protection, decent wages, progressive taxation, or a well-regulated financial system – ‘because the country will lose competitiveness, jobs will disappear, and you will suffer’.

“In rich and poor countries alike, elites promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off.

“Well, after 40 years, the numbers are in: growth has slowed and the fruits of that growth went overwhelmingly to a very few at the top. As wages stagnated and the stock market soared, income and wealth flowed up, rather than trickling down.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/nov/05/decades-of-free-market-orthodoxy-have-taken-a-toll-on-democracy

———————————————————–Budget 2020 to hit poorer households harder – Economic and Social Research Institute

Robert Shortt, RTE Economics Correspondent  https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

This week’s Budget had a bigger impact on the incomes of poorer households, according to research from the ESRI. —————-

The decision by the Government not to adjust income tax rates or raise welfare payments in Budget 2020 will hit everyone in the pocket next year.

This is because wages and prices are going up and so if people earn more, they will pay more in tax. Those on welfare will be left behind.

The ESRI has calculated that the Budget will reduce the incomes of the poorest 10% of households by 3% but leave the highest earning 10% of households worse off by just 1%.—————————————

——————————————————————–In the budget the Minister has not taken a ha’penny in tax from the obscene wealth of Irish Super Rich, numbering 5th highest per head in the World   https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

 One in every six citizens lives on an income which is below the poverty line!

4000 Children being damaged for life in emergency Accomodation.

This budget will worsen the situation

Dáil Speech on Budget by Seamus Healy TD

This is a shameful budget. It is deeply regressive, unjust and socially unfair. It exacerbates the rich-poor divide in our society. Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance in government, supported by Fianna Fáil, are pursuing a deliberate policy of favouring a golden circle of the rich and powerful in our society. The budget and Government policy are prefaced by the dishonest claim that the country is in some way badly off. Of course, this could not be further from the truth. Ireland is the eighth richest country in the world. We know that Irish super rich individuals are awash with money. They have made billions out of the crash and the selective recovery. In the budget the Minister has not taken a ha’penny in tax from their obscene wealth. The budget is shameful on the part of Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil. While almost 4,000 children are being irreparably damaged in their formative years in emergency accommodation, this country has the fifth largest number of ultra wealthy individuals per capita in the world, according to a recent wealth study. A total of 2,055 super rich people in the State have wealth in excess of $30 million each. They do not pay a penny in tax on this wealth. The study shows that there are 421 super rich individuals per 1 million adults in the State, placing the Republic ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Germany and Japan and behind only the tax havens of Hong Kong, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore.

We also know from the study that the top 10% of wealthy individuals own 58.4% of all wealth; that the top 5% own 46.4% of all wealth; and that the top 1% own 27.3% of all wealth. Referring to this in a recent article in The Irish Times, David McWilliams wrote:

Imagine we decided to introduce a sliding wealth tax of between 0.5 per cent and 5 per cent on wealth, on the top 1 per cent or top 5 per cent … the State could raise close to a maximum of €20 billion (5 per cent on the top 5 per cent) or a minimum of €2 billion (0.5 per cent on the top 1 per cent).

We also know that the financial assets of the richest 10% are now approximately €50 billion above the Celtic tiger boom level in 2006. This country is very wealthy and has significantly wealthy individuals. We also know, on the other hand, that life on low income is the norm for large numbers of people in Irish society. One in every six lives on an income which is below the poverty line. Based on recent CSO data, that corresponds to a total of 760,000 people. We know that child poverty is the reality for one in every five children in the State, or about 230,000 children, a stark statistic which raises major questions about fairness and progress. Some 110,000 of the working poor are working but living below the poverty line. We know that 44.5% of one-parent families have experienced deprivation and that 28% of the population experience fuel poverty.

The budget makes families on low and middle incomes, pensioners and social welfare recipients pay for climate change and Brexit, while the obscenely wealthy get off scot-free.

The question of climate action and carbon tax is referred to frequently in the Budget Statement. There is no doubt but that, in the words of the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, the house is “on fire”. The evidence is clear and irrefutable that the climate is changing owing to human activity. The Government seemed to recognise this in declaring a climate emergency earlier this year, but it has proved that it is not to be trusted in an emergency because it has taken absolutely no meaningful action to avert the crisis. It is similar to its heartless inaction in dealing with the housing and homelessness crisis where it has proved to be worse than useless, in allowing the homelessness figure to rise to over 10,000 for the first time in our history and a generation of children to grow up in hotels, guesthouses, hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation. It is incredibly cynical of the Government to declare a climate emergency and then take almost no action whatsoever. There is no doubt that its climate action plan lacks real credibility. Its decision to block further debate on the Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018 for the duration of this Dáil by invoking the money message procedure is an ill-founded and undemocratic abuse of parliamentary procedure.

There are plenty of meaningful and effective initiatives the Government could enact to help to stop climate chaos, but it has come up with another tax, the carbon tax, which is unjust, unfair and deeply regressive. It is also a tax which serves largely to penalise low and middle income families and people living in rural Ireland, particularly those who have to travel to work by car. When both members of a couple are working but cannot afford to buy a house, how does the Government believe taxing them further will help them to provide for themselves and their children, which is the key tenet of sustainability? Public transport, consistent with the standard needed in commuting to work and school, is not available in much of Ireland outside the greater Dublin area. Surely this is a rudimentary necessity to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions. Proper utilisation, staffing and upgrading of the existing rail network is of urgent importance. The downgrading and elimination of bus routes throughout the country because of “rationalisation” are shameful in the face of this crisis. Having car pool lanes in highly congested areas, similar to the extremely effective quality bus corridors in operation in Dublin, which would discourage single occupancy of cars, is another simple measure which could be taken. What about providing free public transport? This option should certainly be considered. In my constituency, Tipperary, thousands of residents travel to work every day to neighbouring centres such as Limerick, Shannon, Waterford, Dungarvan, Galway, Athlone, Carlow, Kilkenny and Cork city. Just as many travel to work within the county, while thousands travel into the county to work. There is no alternative to the motor car. Instead of taking several billion euro from the very wealthy to provide cheap, or free, and frequent public transport to reduce carbon emissions, the first thing the Government does is put an extra tax on workers in the name of climate change. It will now tax a person travelling to work from Carrick-on-Suir to Kilkenny, something people do every day, having recently allowed the semi-State bus company to axe the route. The issue of transport needs to be dealt with to deal with the effects of climate change.

There is no justification for the freeze on social welfare payments in the budget. No general increase is provided for. The last time this happened the excuse was the banking crash, now it is Brexit, but the political representatives of the wealthy in our society will always find an excuse to further enrich those who are already wealthy and to oppress the poor. Social Justice Ireland and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul called for an increase of €8 to €9 per week in social welfare payments. It was to cover people like the 760,000 who live below the poverty line, the 110,000 working poor and the 230,000 children living below the poverty line. They have seen nothing but a freeze. There is no increase in child benefit. Social welfare recipients and pensioners have seen a cut in the budget. The value of their payments will be reduced by inflation and it could be significant, depending on the type of Brexit that transpires. There is a €2 per week increase in the fuel allowance, which is supposed to be related to the carbon tax, but it will only affect one in five families. The working poor will get nothing. There is no reference to the minimum wage, while there should be proposals for the introduction of the living wage. There is no justification for the cuts in and the freeze of social welfare payments. That is an indication that the small men, those on welfare payments and low and middle incomes, are paying the price for Brexit and the carbon tax.

There is only a token nod of the head towards the Sláintecare commitments. Next year there will be a continuation of the terminal crisis in the health service, in trundling from day to day, with hundreds of patients on trolleys in corridors and hundreds of thousands on waiting lists. There are more than 500,000 on outpatient waiting lists, 100,000 of whom are waiting for more than 18 months. There are serious delays in carrying out cataract, hip and knee operations. I heard recently of a hospital which had indicated that a urology procedure was urgent but that the delay was 48 months.

I welcome the increase in the limits in qualifying for a medical card for people older than 70 years, but there has been no general increase in the limits in qualifying for a medical card since 2006. Some 25% of those living below the poverty line do not qualify for a medical card. That should be changed immediately. The Minister bragged that the HSE had halved the budget overrun of last year, but he did not tell us that it was operating a moratorium on the appointment of staff, that thousands of posts were unfilled and that there was a moratorium on increasing home help hours. Every day individuals and families contact me and, I am sure, other Deputies seeking home help hours, which are refused daily. The result of the moratorium is the understaffing and under-resourcing of services.

There is little or nothing in the budget for disability services. A number of people and families who care for children with disabilities have already contacted me, disturbed and upset that disability services have been effectively overlooked in the budget. Such families have to fight continually for services for their children with disabilities. I welcome the increase in the number of special needs assistants, SNAs, but I ask the Minister to ensure there will be a quick procedure for the approval of the posts. Last week I asked a question about providing SNAs for a special school in Cashel. The application was made last March, but a decision was made only last Friday. That should not have happened and the issue should be addressed.

On housing, the budget simply continues the failed policy of the Government, a policy that has created a housing emergency and led to approximately 110,000 people on waiting lists, whether on local authority waiting lists or in receipt of the housing assistance payment. Even these figures are not correct, given that thousands of families, because of the reduction in the income limits for local authorities, find themselves unable to qualify either for the local authority waiting list or a mortgage. As a result, such persons throughout the country will have to pay high rents, which have gone through the roof in recent years. That is what happens when Government policy on public housing is reliant on the private sector. I recall that when the policy was introduced by a Fianna Fáil Government in the early 2000s, I was a member of South Tipperary County Council. I noted at the time that it would create severe problems down the road and, unfortunately, that is what has transpired. We need a declaration of a housing and homelessness emergency and the urgent building of public housing on public land.

Education seems to have been almost forgotten in the budget. I do not mean just at second or third level but also at primary level. It appears that the issues of class sizes, capitation and leadership in primary schools have been completely ignored by the Government.

There are other areas in the budget on which I would like to comment, but I do not have enough time to do so. The recruitment and retention of members of the Defence Forces are creating severe difficulties, as are childcare provision and the payment of a living wage to childcare professionals providing services in childcare centres throughout the country.

As I stated, the budget will ensure ordinary people, pensioners, families on low and middle incomes and social welfare recipients will be forced to pay for climate change and Brexit, while people in our society who are significantly wealthier will get away scot-free. The latter should be made to pay their fair share.

 

 

 

——————————————————————-David McWilliams: Taxing Ireland’s ultra-wealthy makes economic sense

With both the left and right agitating for the move worldwide, it might actually happen

Credit Suisse Distribution of Wealth in Ireland 2015

Top 10%   58.4%     T0p 5%   46. 4  %          Top 1 %  27.3%

David McWilliams  Irish Times 05/10/2019

News this week that Ireland has the fifth largest number of “ultra-wealthy” individuals per capita in the world, got me thinking again about wealth inequality in Ireland. Imagine we decided to introduce a sliding wealth tax of between 0.5 per cent and 5 per cent on wealth, on the top 1 per cent or top 5 per cent . Even using the more modest HFCS numbers, the State could raise close to a maximum of €20 billion (5 per cent on the top 5 per cent ) or a minimum of €2 billion (0.5 per cent on the top 1 per cent ).

Have you ever wondered why the windows of the Bank of Ireland on College Green in Dublin are bricked up? It is because of the imposition of a wealth tax, called the “window tax”.

Ireland, the UK, Holland, parts of northern France – unlike the Mediterranean – are starved of natural light at certain times of year. In the pre-electricity era, light was a luxury in these countries.

The urban poor lived in a dark world of gloomy, window-less hovels, while the rich who wanted to live in the brightest rooms possible, built magnificent ceiling to floor windows to let in the light . Georgian sash windows attest to class difference; the poor lived in the shadows and the rich lived luminously.

Windows meant wealth.

Wealth inequality in the West is the defining issue of our day and, as asset prices have risen in the recovery, it’s getting worse

In early 18th-century Ireland, just after the Act of Union, the new London government needed cash to finance the Napoleonic Wars and extended the window tax, long established in England, to Ireland. The College Green building was built as the parliament of Ireland but the 1801 Act of Union put paid to that, and the majestic building was sold to the Bank of Ireland. The bank avoided the wealth tax by blocking up the windows.

Tax avoidance brings out both the creative and the bluntest human responses. The Georgian approach of bricking windows was heavy-handed, but it worked. I’ve yet to meet the citizen who pays more tax than they must. When you get new taxes, you also get new tax avoidance schemes. However, that does not mean wealth should not be taxed – at least as much as income.

Wealth taxes are back. They are now a significant feature of the US presidential election, with both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders wedded to taxing wealth, particularly of the very rich.

Wealth inequality in the West is the defining issue of our day. US inequality is in a league of its own compared with Europe but wealth inequality remains stubbornly high throughout western Europe and, as asset prices have risen in the recovery, it’s getting worse.

One simple way to differentiate the wealthy from the rest of the population is to understand that the wealthy are those whose income comes from assets, such as rent and dividends, while the rest of society depends on wages for their income.

Credit Suisse Distribution of Wealth in Ireland 2015

Top 10%   58.4%     T0p 5%   46. 4  %          Top 1 %  27.3%

A Decile is 10% of population

Richest Decile         Decile 10        58.4% of all Wealth

Decile 9            14.0%

Decile   8            9.7%

Decile 7              7.4%

Decile 6               4.5%

Decile 5               3.2%

Decile  4              1.9%

Decile 3               0.7%

Decile 2               0.3%

Poorest Decile  Decile 1         -0.1%        Nett Debt

Wealth makes money for you even when you are asleep. Property ownership, land, stocks and shares in companies generate income for owners. And even if some forms of wealth do not always provide current income – such as a large valuable home – wealth always confers privilege, status and opportunity that is not available to those without it.

Even if it is not liquid, wealth confers value and is at the core of the distinction between the haves and have-nots, which is precisely why the accumulation of wealth is so desirable and a source of great human drive, ingenuity and commercial brilliance.

But if the gap between the very top and the average becomes too wide, problems arise and the gap should be redressed in the name of societal fairness. This is particularly the case if the growth in wealth far outstrips the growth in incomes, undermining the social contract and the political status quo.

Psychologically, absolute wealth is rarely the problem; the problem is relative wealth. It is the contrast between what you have and what the guy down the road has, that grates and leads not just to social anxiety but personal anxiety and the sense that you are falling backwards.

Economically, great disparities of wealth are inefficient because rich people don’t spend money, they hoard it, which is why we have so many “wealth managers”.

Imagine we decided to introduce a sliding wealth tax of between 0.5 per cent and 5 per cent on wealth, on the top 1 per cent or top 5 per cent, the State could raise €20 billion

One of the great myths of economics is that rich people create jobs. They don’t. Demand creates jobs. If a billion (one thousand million) euro is held by one person, the chances are that 99 per cent of that money will leave circulation.

Few jobs are created by the spending of one billionaire, even a free-spending one. However, if that same billion were distributed between one million people having €1,000 each, the impact on the economy would be immense.

Poorer people have a much lower propensity to save, and so the billion euros would recirculate and recirculate, generating enormous economic dynamism and countless jobs.

Armed with these observations, let’s look at Ireland.

News this week that Ireland has the fifth largest number of “ultra-wealthy” individuals per capita in the world, got me thinking again about wealth inequality in Ireland.

A few years ago, I was involved in an RTÉ documentary called the Great Wealth Divide. We focused on two sets of data, one compiled by the European Central Bank called the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) and data compiled by Credit Suisse, an investment bank.

Both surveys revealed startling high levels of wealth inequality. The top 5 per cent in the HFCS survey owned 37.7 per cent of all the wealth in the country, while the top 1 per cent owned nearly 15 per cent. The Credit Suisse data was even more dramatic, stating that the top 5 per cent owned 46.4 per cent and the top 1 per cent owned an extraordinary 27.3 per cent of the total wealth of the country.

(The difference might be explained by the fact that when asked in a survey, rich people brag to an investment bank but understate their wealth when asked by the State. Either way, the figures – underpinned by raw financial data on property, stocks and deposits – reveal profound unfairness.)

Low-hanging fruit

Imagine we decided to introduce a sliding wealth tax of between 0.5 per cent and 5 per cent on wealth, on the top 1 per cent or top 5 per cent . Even using the more modest HFCS numbers, the State could raise close to a maximum of €20 billion (5 per cent on the top 5 per cent ) or a minimum of €2 billion (0.5 per cent on the top 1 per cent ).

Given that a huge chunk of wealth is tied up in property and land and can’t – by definition – leave the country, it is clear that this is low hanging fruit.

As the world becomes less tolerant of wealth inequality (and I do believe we are moving into such an era, led by the USA), the incentive to tax the super wealthy will become more difficult to resist.

Both the popular left and right will agitate for such a move so much that the centre might eventually adopt it. This is precisely what happened in the US from the 1930s to the 1980s. Is it time for the pendulum to swing again?

© 2019 irishtimes.com

 

—————————————————————They Don’t Pay A Penny Tax on their Wealth Here!!!!

Republic of Ireland has fifth largest number of super rich per head of population in the World

There are a total of 2055 Super-Rich Individuals with wealth in excess of 30 million dollars each in the state

Charlie Taylor, Irish Times,  Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 

The Republic has the fifth largest number of “ultra-wealthy” individuals per capita in the world, according to a new report.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

The study shows that there are 421 super rich individuals per million adults in the State, placing the Republic behind only Hong KongSwitzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore. (and above US, UK, Germany, France, Germany, Japan etc)

Wealth-X, which has compiled the new figures, defines ultra-wealthy people as those who have a net worth of $30 million or more.

Its latest report shows there was muted growth in the global ultra-wealthy population last year and a fall in their net worth. The number of super rich individuals increased by 0.8 per cent to 265,490, while their combined wealth fell by 1.7 per cent to $32.3 trillion.

The US is by far the leading country for ultra-wealthy individuals, accounting for 31 per cent of the global number. This compares with 9 per cent for second-placed China and nearly 7 per cent for third-placed Japan.

Hong Kong, which has the highest density of super rich people overall, saw its share fall by 11 per cent last year due to a slump in Asian stocks and a softening of the Chinese economy.

New York regained its status as the world’s largest city for ultra-wealthy people, ahead of Hong Kong and Tokyo.

What about ultra-wealthy women?

The US accounted for six of the top 10 cities overall while North America contains the higher percentage of super rich individuals with 35 per cent share. It has 91,740 ultra-wealth people with a combined fortune of $10.8 trillion.

It is followed by Asia and Europe while Africa accounts for just 1 per cent market share with 2,410 super rich people with a combined fortune of $289 billion.

The Wealth-X study reveals that the number of ultra-wealthy women rose to about 38,700, equivalent to 14.6 per cent of all super rich individuals. It also shows that more than two-thirds of those with $30 million or more of net worth are self-made successes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of those defined as ultra wealthy are aged 50 or more.

The global ultra-wealthy population is forecast to rise to 353,550 people by 2023, up 88,000 on last year’s total.

The combined wealth of such individuals, meanwhile, is expected to increase to $43 trillion, indicating an additional $10.7 trillion in newly created wealth is predicted over the next five years.

———————————————————————-Wealth of Richest 300 Irish up 2.7% (2.1 BillionEuro) in 1 year to 79 Billion

https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

On Average Each Has  263 million    Each Paid 400 Euro less in Income Tax in 2018

“Ten years after the BANKING CRISIS , Ireland’s rich are wealthier than ever”.

– A strong performance over the past 12 months has lifted the combined fortune of Ireland’s 300 richest to €79 BILLION , up 2.7% on last year, according to today’s Sunday Times Irish Rich List.

– The entry point has JUMPED by a RECORD €12m to €52m

————————————————————Socialist and Republican Politicians Must Not Give Government Ministers A Fool’s Pardon By Saying That THEY are INCOMPETENT and/or STUPID!

They are highly competent , extremist,   politicians  acting on behalf of the Irish super-rich and their international backers against the best interests of the Irish People

The Irish Super-Rich Are AWASH WITH MONEY

THEY ARE BEING MADE RICHER EVERY YEAR BY  THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES

MINISTER NOONAN FAILED TO ANSWER DEMAND FOR COMPENSATION FOR SMALL SHAREHOLDERS IN ANGLO BY SEAMUS HEALY TD IN DAIL REPLY TO PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION-PENSIONERS, REDUNDANT WORKERS DEFRAUDED!!! Huge investors (Senior Bondholders) were compensated in full though they had no legal entitlement to any compensation.

 ——————————————————-

Damning files reveal Central Bank’s role in €7bn banking fraud – The Sunday Business Post    https://wp.me/pKzXa-kL

MINISTER NOONAN FAILED TO ANSWER DEMAND FOR COMPENSATION FOR SMALL SHAREHOLDERS IN ANGLO BY SEAMUS HEALY TD IN DAIL REPLY TO PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION-PENSIONERS, REDUNDANT WORKERS DEFRAUDED

Government, Department of Finance had Full Knowledge!!

Huge investors (Senior Bondholders) were compensated in full though they had no legal entitlement to any compensation.

 http://www.businesspost.ie/wp-content/themes/smart-mag/js/html5.js 

“Official files and secret notes reveal that a €7 billion fraud that led to the criminal con

——————————————————-Donohoe Again Covers up The Fact That Millionaires got Biggest Tax Relief and Lowly Paid Workers Got Nothing in Last Budget!!  https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

Irish Independent :”This is steady progress in reducing the income tax burden for low and middle income earners,” Mr Donohoe said, adding that currently “resources are available” to continue this approach in next Budget.

In last year’s Budget he increased the entry point to the higher rate of income tax for all earners by €750 and reduced the third rate of universal social charge from 4.75pc to 4.5pc.  Irish Independent      20/06/2019

Paddy Healy According to Deloitte Budget Calculator 2019:

Single Self-Employed with annual incomes

between 200,000 and 2 million each   – Full year TAX Gain  490 Euro Each

Single Employee on 200,000 to 2 million   Full Year Tax Gain   289 Eu each

Single Employee on 75,000  Full tear Tax Gain    289  EU each

Single Employee on 40,000   Full year  Tax Gain     214 Eu each

Single Employee on 25,000       Full year Tax Gain   26.62 Euro Each

Single Employee on 18,000        Full Year Tax Gain    0 (zero)

—————————————————————–

There is no shortage of individual wealth in Ireland.

Yet some activists and their manipulators are portraying the housing problem as a case of looking after foreigners instead of “our own”. This has the effect of covering up for successive governments and their extremist pro-rich anti-human policies . The Problem is that FG, FF, Labour, independent Alliance are continuing existing tax reliefs to the super-rich, giving them extra income tax relief in the last 3 budgets, In addition funding private sector rents through, HAP, instead of building council houses, is driving up the assets of all big fixed asset holders, not just landlords. The 78,000 Irish millionaires and billionaires have at least 160 billion Euro in assets between them. The wealthiest 300 of these have 79 Billion Euro between them.

The richest 10% of Irish Households (not businesses) have 110 billion in financial assets (shares, bank deposits, personal investments only). This is 50 billion more than what they had at peak boom level before the crash according to CSO (Institutional sector accounts). There is no tax whatever on financial assets in Ireland (Contrary to assertions by Michael Noonan, DIRT is an income tax)

The 26,000 who have annual  incomes between 200,000 EU pa and 2 million + EU per year got income tax relief in the last 3 budgets

Remember

Wealth of Richest 300 Irish up 2.7% (2.1 BillionEuro) in 1 year to 79 Billion

https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

On Average Each Has  263 million    Each Paid 400 Euro less in Income Tax in 2018

“Ten years after the BANKING CRISIS , Ireland’s rich are wealthier than ever”.

– A strong performance over the past 12 months has lifted the combined fortune of Ireland’s 300 richest to €79 BILLION , up 2.7% on last year, according to today’s Sunday Times Irish Rich List.

– The entry point has JUMPED by a RECORD €12m to €52m

—————————————————————————————————————————————-Knight Frank Wealth Report  2019

https://www.knightfrank.com/research/the-wealth-report-6214.a

Number of Irish millionaires rises by 3,000 to nearly 78,000 in a Single Year

One Additional Irish Billionaire  https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

Irish Times   Fiona Reddin, March 13,2019

Almost 3,000 Irish people became millionaires last year – and one became a billionaire – on the back of rising asset and property values.

According to the Wealth Report 2019 from estate agent Knight Frank, the rich are going to continue to get even richer, with a further 17,000 Irish people set to become millionaires by 2023. The report says there are currently 77,984 millionaires in Ireland.

However, the rate of growth in wealth generation appears to have slowed, having picked up sharply as the economy started to recover around 2013. The survey shows that the numbers joining the millionaire gang grew by 32 per cent between 2013 and 2018 but are forecast to grow by just 23 per cent between 2018 and 2023.

The report shows there was also a jump in Irish “ultra-high net worth individuals”, or UHNWIs, last year, with some 1,029 people in this group of the super wealthy, with assets of some $30 million or more. This is up by 4 per cent on 2017, in line with global trends, and is forecast to grow by a further 25 per cent between now and 2023. Dublin is home to about 43 per cent, or some 444, of these UHNWIs.

On the billionaire side, Ireland had nine billionaires last year – up from eight in 2017. But this number is not expected to grow, as the survey forecasts zero growth among billionaires between now and 2023. This is in sharp contrast to China, where growth of 29 per cent is forecast, and India (+37 per cent).

In total, the survey reveals that across the world there are now 19.6 million millionaires, up by 3 per cent on 2017. Despite strong growth in Asia, the US remains home to the greatest number of millionaires, at some 5.9 million. This compares with 1.5 million in China, 1.5 million in Germany and 759,000 in the UK.

Prime properties

The survey also ranks the world’s luxury residential markets in terms of price growth. Dublin slipped own the rankings into 85th place, on the back of a 2.8 per cent decline in the price of “prime”, or properties typically priced at about €1 million and above, in the year to December 2018. It joins London (-4.4 per cent); Rio de Janeiro (-3.8 per cent) and Vancouver (-11.5 per cent) as cities where prime property prices are falling.

Going in the other direction are the index leader, Manilla, where prices rose by 11.1 per cent in the period under review, Edinburgh (+10.6 per cent) and Berlin (+10.5 per cent).

When it comes to so-called passion investments, rare whiskey was the top performer over the past year, with asset values advancing by 40 per cent, or by 582 per cent over a 10-year period. This is far in excess of the next best performer, coins, which increased by 12 per cent, followed by wine, which was up by 9 per cent.

The biggest whiskey seller was a bottle of The Macallan 1926, which was sold by Christies for $1.5 million.

Classic cars had more of a mixed fortune. Overall, the HAGI Top Index for rare classic cars rose by almost 2.5 per cent in 2018. However, some brands actually fell; prices of Porsche cars, for example, slid by an average of 6.5 per cent. The most expensive car sold at auction was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which sold for $48.4 million.

© 2019 irishtimes.com

—————————————————————————————————–

Wealth of Richest 300 Irish up 2.7% (2.1 BillionEuro) in 1 year to 79 Billion

https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

On Average Each Has  263 million    Each Paid 400 Euro less in Income Tax in 2018

“Ten years after the BANKING CRISIS , Ireland’s rich are wealthier than ever”.

– A strong performance over the past 12 months has lifted the combined fortune of Ireland’s 300 richest to €79 BILLION , up 2.7% on last year, according to today’s Sunday Times Irish Rich List.

– The entry point has JUMPED by a RECORD €12m to €52m

———————————————————Almost 26,000 Irish People Have Incomes Between 200,000 Euro and over 2 million Euro Per Year!!!-CSO 2016 Figures

They have a total income of 10.7 billion euro per year. between them.

Over the Last 3 Budgets they all got income tax relief and Universal Social Charge reduction. In addition the 55% of them who are self-employed business people got an increase in their tax free allowance as well!

They All Got The Same Tax Relief as a Person earning 70,000 Euro per annum in the last three budgets https://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

The Comptroller and Auditor General recently revealed that 83 high net worth individuals, with in excess of €50 million in assets each, declare taxable incomes of less than the average industrial wage-35,600Euro? They can decide what to pay themselves!At present, this is perfectly legal under legislation being presided over by the Government.

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s 300 richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn in 2017 alone. The Richest 12 gained 6 billion of this.It was was a Tax Free Gain

 TOP 10% of financial asset holders now have  €40 billion above what they had at peak boom levels in 2006. (CSO) No tax is payable on these assets. Financial assets do not include homes, buildings, farms. Shares , bank deposits and other personal investments are included.

  3,334 Persons in the Private sector earn more than the current salary of top RTE earner Ryan-Tubridy on Euro 495,000 and they all got tax reductions.!!!

 CSO Institutional Sector Accounts (Financial) 2016
(F.A.) Total Financial Assets
Households including NPISH (S.14+S.15) 363,942 m
(AF.L) Total Liabilities
Households including NPISH (S.14+S.15) 154,028 m
(BF.90) Net Financial Assets
Households including NPISH (S.14+S.15) 209,913 m

——————————————————————————————————————

PQ Reply By Minister For Finance Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD

(These earnings have increased substantially since Noonans Reply)

Summary  (In 2013, After Budget 2012)

Between Euro  200,000 per year and over 2million per year   Number of Income Recipients=    21,864

Top 10,000 have average income of 595,000 per year (vast majority in private sector

Top 10,000     Total Income per year= €5.959Billion   Average Income per year   €595,900

Number earning over   0.5 million= 3,334

Number earning over  €1 million=657

Number Earning over  €2 million=120

In 2015 (the last year for which the data is published), 23,698 ‘tax units’ had gross taxable incomes of over €200,000.

Of those tax units, 10,201 were couples and 13,497 were single people (including widows and widowers, which the Revenue Commissioners still list separately — as in, a separate row for widows and a separate row for widowers*).

And of the 10,201 couples, 7,289 were both earning.

The data is available at http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?maintable=RVA01&PLanguage=0

 

———————————————————————————————————————–

Sunday Times Irish Rich List

 

Wealth of Richest 300 Irish up 2.7% (2.1 BillionEuro) in 1 year to 79 Billion

On Average Each Has  263 million    Each Paid 400 Euro less in Income Tax in 2018

“Ten years after the BANKING CRISIS , Ireland’s rich are wealthier than ever”.

– A strong performance over the past 12 months has lifted the combined fortune of Ireland’s 300 richest to €79 BILLION , up 2.7% on last year, according to today’s Sunday Times Irish Rich List.

– The entry point has JUMPED by a RECORD €12m to €52m.

– After strong economic growth in the Republic, it now has one of the HIGHEST proportions of euro BILLIONAIRES per head of population.
There are 16 members of the super-rich club — one more than last year — representing one euro billionaire for EVERY 313,000 people.

– That is almost TWICE the proportion of people with similar wealth in more affluent countries such as Kuwait, the US and Sweden.

– While almost a third of Ireland’s richest 300 are either from or based in Dublin, there is evidence of an increasing spread of wealth.

– The capital still accounts for more than 40% of Ireland’s wealth, however, with five billionaires and 88 Irish Rich List millionaires boasting combined fortunes of €31.67bn.

– The majority of multi-millionaires on the list saw the GROWTH in their wealth outpace the 4.9% domestic economic growth.

– This was due to the buoyant global stock markets, the explosion in value of internet technologies, strong PROPERTY-value growth and buoyant domestic spending.

Court Watch Ireland-I spy with my little Eye

Super-Rich Will Have a Super-Happy New Year  2018!!!

The richest top ten  in the Sunday Independent Rich List 2018 increased their fortunes by over €2bn in total over the past year.

The ten wealthiest have a collective estimated worth of just over €50bn compared with €47.9bn in the 2017 Rich List.

The Sunday Independent Rich LIST 2018

The List Ranks Personal Wealth of Individuals not of Companies

 Denis O’Brien remains at  No 4 in 2018 with  personal wealth of 2.75 billion.  He has regained 100 million of the 200 million which he lost in 2016. John Magnier, owner of Coolmore Stud , retains his ranking of 7. He has gained 150 million on his 2017 figure.   

I have confined the comparisons below to well known Irish rich Personalities

The “Super Eight” below have made a tax free gain of 76 million each on average over the last two years!!!

                                                     Super Eight PERSONAL  WEALTH

Rank                                                     2018       (2017)   (2016)          change from 2017

2018 (2017)

4     (4)   DenisO’Brien                       2.75         2.65         2.85                 +100m

7     (7) John Magnier                          2.3bn (2.2bn)(2.2bn)                + 150m

8   (9)   JP McManus Finance          2.1bn (€2bn)(€1.85bn )                +140m

9   (10)Dermot Desmond Finance 2.04 bn(€1.8bn)(€1.56bn)            +240m

11  (11) Martin Naughton Industry 1.65 bn €1.6bn(€1.5bn)               +50m

 13   (12 )    Paul Coulson Industry    1.45bn (€1.5bn)(€840m)                -50m

 17 (13)      Ellis Short Finance          1.1 bn(€1.1bn)(€1.05bn)                 no change

16   (14)Michael O’Leary Transport  1.15bn (€1.1bn)(€1.08bn)           +50m

Totals          2018   13.54 Billion;     2017    13.3Billion ;    2016  12.93

Gain From 2017:0.24 billion =240,000,000      30 million each on average!

Gain From 2016:  0.61 billion=610,000,000      76 million each on average!  

These are Tax Free Gains

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Almost 22,000 Irish People Have Incomes Between 200,000 Euro and 2 million Euro Per Year!!!-Minister for Finance

They All Got The Same Tax Relief as a Person earning 70,000 Euro per annum in the last two budgets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s 300 richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The Richest 12 gained 6 billion of this.It was was a Tax Free Gain

 TOP 10% of financial asset holders now have  €35 billion above what they had at peak boom levels in 2006. (CSO)

  3,334 Persons in the Private sector earn more than the current salary of top RTE earner Ryan-Tubridy on Euro 495,000?

PQ Reply By Minister For Finance Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD

(These earnings have increased substantially since Noonans Reply)

Summary  (In 2013, After Budget 2012)

Between Euro  200,000 per year and over 2million per year   Number of Income Recipients=    21,864

Top 10,000 have average income of 595,000 per year (vast majority in private sector

Top 10,000     Total Income per year= €5.959Billion   Average Income per year   €595,900

Number earning over   0.5 million= 3,334

Number earning over  €1 million=657

Number Earning over  €2 million=120

Comment from Tomboktu on Cedar Lounge Revolution

In 2015 (the last year for which the data is published), 23,698 ‘tax units’ had gross taxable incomes of over €200,000.

Of those tax units, 10,201 were couples and 13,497 were single people (including widows and widowers, which the Revenue Commissioners still list separately — as in, a separate row for widows and a separate row for widowers*).

And of the 10,201 couples, 7,289 were both earning.

The data is available at http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?maintable=RVA01&PLanguage=0

TOMBOKTU, Cedar Lounge Revolution  DEC 31,2017 

SHOCK!! RTE MENTIONED THAT INDIVIDUALS EARN MILLIONS IN PRIVATE SECTOR  FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS!

RTE  Commercial Director ,Willie O’Reilly, WAS DEFENDING THE SALARIES OF ITS TOP 10 BROADCASTERS

These are numbers 9 to 15 on the Irish Rich List . Figure in Brackets is for April 2016 -1 year earlier. Denis O’Brien is No 4-but his net worth has decreased.                                      JP McManus Finance €2bn(€1.85bn )
Dermot Desmond Finance €1.8bn(€1.56bn)
Martin Naughton Industry €1.6bn(€1.5bn)
Paul Coulson Industry €1.5bn(€840m))
Shane Smith Technology €1.41bn(€700m))
Ellis Short Finance €1.1bn(€1.05bn)
Michael O’Leary Transport €1.1bn(€1.08bn)
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Michael Noonan Sold Shares in Then State-Owned Bank of Ireland For a Song to Wilbur Ross. Ross then walked off with Hundreds of Millions When he Sold The Shares On!! Did he invest it in Russian Oil and Make another Fortune?

 Irish Times :”Mr Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, sold his stake in Bank of Ireland – bought shortly after Ireland entered and EU/IMF bailout programme – in June 2014 for almost half a billion euros, three times what he paid for it.”

Paradise Papers: Former Bank of Ireland investor Wilbur Ross benefits from Putin link

Sasha Chavkin and Martha M. Hamilton, Irish Times, Sunday, November 5, 2017, 17:55

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur L Ross Jr has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions every year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the US Treasury Department as a member of Putin’s inner circle.

Mr Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, sold his stake in Bank of Ireland – bought shortly after Ireland entered and EU/IMF bailout programme – in June 2014 for almost half a billion euros, three times what he paid for it.

He divested most of his business assets before joining US President Donald Trump’s cabinet in February but kept a stake in the shipping firm, Navigator Holdings Ltd, which is incorporated in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. Offshore entities in which Mr Ross and other investors hold a financial stake controlled 31.5 per cent of the company in 2016, according to Navigator’s latest annual report.

Among Navigator’s largest customers, contributing over $68 million in revenue since 2014, is the Moscow-based gas and petrochemicals company Sibur. Two of its key owners are Kirill Shamalov, who is married to Mr Putin’s youngest daughter, and Gennady Timchenko, the sanctioned oligarch whose activities in the energy sector, the US Treasury Department said, were “directly linked to Putin.”

A ship belonging to Navigator Holdings Ltd
A ship belonging to Navigator Holdings Ltd

Another powerful owner is Sibur’s largest shareholder, Leonid Mikhelson, who controls an energy company that was also sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for propping up Mr Putin’s rule.

US-Russia tension

As commerce secretary, Mr Ross has a direct authority over trade and manufacturing policy and is an influential voice in the government on virtually any aspect of the US economic relationship with other countries, including Russia. In recent years, tensions between the United States and Russia have escalated, with the United States imposing sanctions against Russia after its 2014 invasion of Crimea and its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In the aftermath of the election, investigations by Congress and the US Department of Justice have explored potential business ties between Russia and members of President Trump’s administration. While several of Trump’s campaign and business associates have come under scrutiny, until now no business connections have been reported between senior Trump administration officials and members of Putin’s family or inner circle.

During his confirmation process, Mr Ross was asked repeatedly about his business ties to Russia, mostly related to his former role as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, which has a long history of financing Russian oligarchs. “The United States Senate and the American public deserve to know the full extent of your connections with Russia and your knowledge of any ties between the Trump Administration, Trump Campaign, or Trump Organisation and the Bank of Cyprus,” a group of five Democratic senators wrote to Mr Ross after the hearing but prior to his confirmation. Mr Ross responded briefly to a question submitted for the hearing, saying the Russians who invested in the bank “were not my partners,” but didn’t respond to the senators’ letter.

He was also asked about his shipping holdings and whether they could pose a conflict of interest with his duties at the US Department of Commerce. But he faced no questions about Navigator – where he once was chairman of the board – and its relationship with Sibur.

Sibur is “a company with crony connections,” said Daniel Fried, a Russia expert who served in senior State Department posts in both Republican and Democratic administrations. “Why would any officer of the US government have any relationship with a Putin crony?”

Another of Navigator’s major customers is PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company owned by the authoritarian regime of Nicolas Maduro. The Trump administration sanctioned one current and one former executive at PDVSA in July 2017, and sanctioned the company itself the next month.

Commerce and conflict

The commerce secretary’s indirect business connection with Mr Putin’s son-in-law and oligarch allies emerges from an examination of public records and a leak of millions of offshore financial documents from the Bermuda law firm Appleby obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its global network of media partners, including The Irish Times. The project is called the Paradise Papers. They represent the inner workings of Appleby from the 1950s until 2016. The files include documents from Appleby’s corporate services division, which became independent in 2016 under the name Estera.

The leaked files showed a chain of companies and partnerships in the Cayman Islands through which Ross has retained his financial stake in Navigator.

The fact that Mr Ross’s Cayman Islands companies benefit from a firm controlled by Putin proxies raises serious potential conflicts of interest, experts say. As commerce secretary, Mr Ross has the power to influence US trade, sanctions and other policies that could affect Sibur’s owners. Likewise, Sibur’s owners, and through them, Mr Putin himself, could have the ability to increase or decrease Sibur’s business with Navigator even as Mr Ross helps steer US policy.

Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer during the George W Bush administration, said Mr Ross might have to recuse himself from a range of sanctions decisions. He added that while there was no inherent violation in Mr Ross’s holdings, the Navigator arrangement warrants closer scrutiny.

“Apart from those legal issues, I’d be very concerned that someone in the US government was making money from dealing with the Russians, and I’d want to know the facts,” Mr Painter said.

Layers and layers and layers and layers

Before joining the Trump cabinet, the 79-year-old Mr Ross was a titan in the world of private equity, rounding up investors from around the world to put money into troubled companies in the hope of profitably turning them around. When all went well, he and his firm made money not only on their investments and management fees, but also from a compensation system that allows the general partners, who manage private equity funds, to earn 20 per cent of any profits that exceed a certain level.

Many of the private equity funds involved in these investments were created and administered by Appleby, an offshore law firm headquartered in Bermuda. The leaked files offer a window into how Appleby helped his firm, WL Ross & Co, LLC, reap the benefits of offshore havens such as the Cayman Islands, a British territory that permits extraordinary levels of financial secrecy and allows paper companies run from New York and elsewhere to operate there tax-free. In 2015, the Cayman Islands was ranked fifth by the Financial Secrecy Index in its worldwide ratings.

Creating offshore funds organised as corporations can be a major draw for certain investors, by allowing US tax exempt organisations – including huge pension funds and richly endowed universities – to sidestep an Internal Revenue Service rule the requires them to pay taxes on income obtained using borrowed money. They also help attract non-US investors because their names aren’t disclosed to tax authorities in the United States.

General partners in offshore private equity enjoy generous tax breaks in the United States as well, including the ability to count the biggest share of their earnings from the fund as a long-term capital gains, rather than ordinary income. This allows the wealthiest fund managers to reduce their taxes on these earnings from the top US tax rate of 39.6 per cent to 20 per cent.

When he was nominated as commerce secretary, Mr Ross filed an agreement with the federal Office of Government Ethics that said he intended to divest 80 companies and partnerships, but would keep a stake in nine others that held assets in “real estate financing and mortgage lending” and “transoceanic shipping.” The assets were not specified. Even though he had sold WL Ross & Co to Invesco in 2006, he remained active as chair and CEO until resigning to join the cabinet.

His financial disclosure form, also filed with the US Office of Government Ethics, runs to 57 pages and includes a long list under the heading, “Employment Assets & Income and Retirement Accounts.” This list is broken down into sections listing assets that appear to be held by each of Mr Ross’s companies, detailing as many as seven layers of entities between Ross and the assets he holds.

Buried in a multitude of subsections appear four cryptically named Cayman Islands entities that are among those he said he was keeping: WLR Recovery Associates IV DSS AIV, GP; WLR Recovery Associates IV DSS AIV, LP; WLR Recovery Associates V DSS AIV, GP and WLR Recovery Associates V DSS AIV, LP. All four companies are administered by the Appleby law firm. “Navigator Holdings” is listed among the assets these companies held, but, consistent with the format of the disclosure form, no details about the company or its relationship with Sibur are provided.

The complexity of the offshore structures adds legal and reputational distance and obscures the full extent of Ross’s business relationships even as it allows him to profit from them, according to tax and ethics experts consulted by ICIJ.

Mr Ross’s disclosure values his combined current stake in the offshore entities that hold Navigator shares at between $2.05 million to $10.1 million. But it is not certain what his total holdings are because he did not list a value for one of the four entities he retained. It is not apparent why or whether a value was omitted. His share represents a fraction of the entities’ overall 31.5 percent stake in Navigator, which based on the firm’s stock price on Oct. 30, 2017, is worth roughly $179 million.

The value of Mr Ross’s investment could change substantially by the time the funds that hold Navigator shares wind up – and holds a significant upside. If the funds performs well enough, the general partnerships in which he is invested stands to receive 20 per cent of the entire funds’ profits.

In addition, Mr Ross has reported billions in assets to Forbes that did not appear on his government disclosure forms, which he later told the magazine he has placed in trusts that benefit his family members.

“The disclosure requirements weren’t written with Wilbur Ross in mind,” said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University who is an expert on government ethics, “and I don’t think adequately provide the public or a government ethics official with an understanding of the wide variety of financial interests that he has.”

Ross hits a home run

Mr Ross started investing in Navigator in 2011, when WL Ross & Co. acquired a 19.4 per cent stake, and the firm was granted two seats on its board, one of which Ross filled himself early the next year. A few months later, with a bankruptcy court judge’s approval, WL Ross acquired a block of shares from the bankrupt financial services firm Lehman Brothers, becoming Navigator’s majority shareholder.

In November 2013, Navigator went public. Shares that WL Ross had bought for about $8 each were put on the market at $19. Afterwards Mr Ross bragged at a conference for shipping investors that the investment had been “a home run.”

Mr Ross stepped down from Navigator’s board the next year after he became vice chairman of the struggling Bank of Cyprus, which was well known for its dealings with Russian oligarchs. His Navigator board seat was taken by Wendy Teramoto, managing director and partner of WL Ross & Co., who herself stepped down in 2017 to become Ross’ chief of staff at the Commerce Department.

Navigator meets Sibur

About the same time it began selling shares to the public, Navigator struck up a relationship with Sibur, exclusively chartering two liquified petroleum gas carriers to transport Sibur’s growing LPG exports to Europe.

Like many Russian energy companies, Sibur was created by the Russian state. Founded in 1995, the firm produces petrochemical products including LPG, which contains propane and butane and is used for heating appliances, cooking equipment and some motor vehicles. Sibur was bought several years later by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom. In 2010, Gazprom sold Sibur to Mr Timchenko and Mr Mikhelson.

Amos Hochstein, the top US energy diplomat during the Obama administration, said Mikhelson and Timchenko’s trajectories were typical of Russian energy moguls who have grown rich under the public corruption and crony capitalism that are hallmarks of Putin’s long rule.

“This is not John D Rockefeller here,” Mr Hochstein said. “They became close to Putin, loyal to Putin, got state assets and got rich.”

The Russian government continues to favor Sibur. In 2013, a government program helped build Sibur’s $700 million terminal in Ust-Luga, the Baltic port where Navigator ships pick up its LPG exports, deeming it “a project of national importance.”

After Russia’s invasion of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, the United States and other western nations imposed economic sanctions on key Putin allies, including Sibur’s second largest shareholder, Mr Timchenko. A few months later, the United States barred banks from providing long-term financing to a gas company belonging to Sibur’s largest shareholder, Mr Mikhelson.

Sibur itself was not targeted, but western banks, including Bank of America and the Royal Bank of Scotland, backed away from loans to the company, according to news reports.

The Russian government again stepped in to help. In May 2014, a consortium led by a state-run bank affiliated with the energy company Gazprom and a state investment fund bought the Ust-Luga terminal from Sibur and pledged to expand export capacity while allowing Sibur to remain the terminal’s sole exporter of LPG.

In September 2014, with sanctions pressure growing, Mr Timchenko sold a 17 percent stake in Sibur to Mr Shamalov, increasing Mr Putin’s son-in-law’s stake to more than 20 per cent of the company. The purchase by the 32-year-old was financed by a $1.3 billion loan from state-owned Gazprombank. Mr Shamalov later sold part of his stake to other investors, reducing his interest to 3.9 per cent by April 2017 but remaining on Sibur’s board of directors. The Putin son-in-law’s profit or loss on the transactions could not be determined.

“When you start doing business with Russian energy companies like Gazprom and Sibur, you’re not just getting into bed with the company,” said Mr Hochstein, the former State Department energy policy co-ordinator. “You’re getting into bed with the Russian state.”

In 2014, Appleby dropped Mr Mikhelson as a client, declining to manage a company for his private jet because of the sanctions against his businesses, according to the leaked records.

Despite the turmoil, the Navigator-Sibur relationship continued to grow. From 2014 to 2015, the shipper’s revenue from Sibur jumped from 5.3 per cent ($16.2 million) to 9.1 per cent ($28.7 million) of total revenue, making the company one of Navigator’s top five clients, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, before sliding down to 7.9 per cent ($23.2 million) of revenue last year. This year, Navigator doubled the fleet dedicated to Sibur exports, acquiring two new vessels and chartering them to the Russian energy company. The ships were named Navigator Luga and Navigator Yauza, after Russian rivers.

In a conference call with investors in 2016, Navigator CEO David Butters said his company benefited as Sibur made inroads to the European energy market over American competitors.

“Russia is pipelining as much natural gas as needed into Europe, and liquids are being shipped into all areas of the continent in increasing amounts, all in competition with longer haul US exports,” Mr Butters said.

A toast

On November 30th, 2016, hours after being nominated as commerce secretary, Mr Ross celebrated at Gramercy Tavern, a tony Manhattan restaurant, at an event hosted by Navigator Holdings. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, he and Butters both arrived early to the chandeliered private room and had a conversation.

“Your interest is aligned to mine,” Butters recalls Ross saying, according to Bloomberg. “The U.S. economy will grow, and Navigator will be a beneficiary.”

Butters told Bloomberg that as other guests arrived and tucked into sherry-sauce sea bass and pear buckle, they took turns congratulating Ross. “It was like-we have a chance now,” Butters told Bloomberg. “We have a chance to make some differences.”

Making billions from bankruptcies

The son of a lawyer-turned-judge and a school teacher, Mr Ross was raised in suburban New Jersey, and graduated from Yale and Harvard Business School. In the late 1970s, he joined the British investment banking firm Rothschild Group, eventually rising to lead the firm’s bankruptcy advisory practice.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

He met Donald Trump in 1990, when the future president’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City was experiencing financial trouble, and Mr Ross represented a group of bondholders. Mr Ross engineered a deal that preserved a stake in the company for Mr Trump, reportedly telling disgruntled bondholders that the Trump name was “still very much an asset.” It was a welcome assist for the future president.

In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton appointed Mr Ross to the board of the US-Russia Investment Fund, established by the US government to make investments and promote American business interests in Russia.

In 2000, Mr Ross founded WL Ross & Co., LLC, a New York-based private equity firm that assembles money from investors into funds that invest in struggling companies with the goal of turning them around and selling them for a profit. The new firm quickly thrived. It engineered the purchase of bankrupt American steel producers, then reaped huge profits when the Bush administration imposed a 30 per cent tariff on steel imports in March 2002.

His newly formed International Steel Group went public the following year and was acquired by Luxembourg giant ArcelorMittal in 2005. Mr Ross’ firm went on to invest in other struggling American industries, including textiles in the South and coal in Appalachia. Mr Ross himself gained a reputation as a financier who breathed life into industries others had left for dead.

But his business practices have also drawn criticism for moving American jobs overseas to improve profits. A Reuters’ analysis of US Labor Department statistics found that Mr Ross takeovers resulted in the loss of 2,700 US jobs in car parts, mortgage finance and the textile industry by shifting production abroad, benefiting, among others, Mexico, India, China and Nicaragua.

His private equity firm has also run afoul of securities regulations that require full and candid disclosure in dealing with investors. In August 2016, the SEC announced an enforcement action against WL Ross & Co for overcharging investors for management fees by changing the formula for calculating the fees without telling them. Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, WL Ross agreed to repay $10.4 million to investors and $2.3 million in civil penalties.

Over the years, Mr Ross has climbed to the ranks of America’s wealthiest individuals, with a fortune estimated by Forbes in September 2017 at $2.5 billion, and lived like it. He and his wife own a Palm Beach villa down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, another house in Southampton, NY, and a third home in Manhattan. They also own an art collection with a value that Bloomberg has estimated at $250 million, including a collection of the surrealist painter Rene Magritte valued at $100 million. Mr Ross was also leader – known as the Grand Swipe – of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi and in 2012 presided over an annual ceremony in which initiates performed song-and-dance routines in drag during a feast of lamb and foie gras at a Manhattan hotel.

Mr Ross has dismissed the idea that the very wealthiest have unfair advantages, arguing in 2014 that “the 1 per cent is being picked on for political reasons.” He added: “Education is the way that people get out of the ghetto and into, if not the 1 percent, something close to it.”

Mr Trump said he nominated Mr Ross because he admires his wealth and ferocious drive. “I’d like to put on a guy that failed all his life, but we don’t want that, do we?” Trump said at a post-election victory rally in Ohio. “No, I put on a killer.”

As it expanded, WL Ross & Co. set up an increasing number of entities in offshore tax havens, many in the Cayman Islands. The British territory in the Caribbean levies no corporate or income tax on money earned outside the jurisdiction and requires little disclosure of corporate ownership. This has made the Caymans a popular destination with U.S. private equity managers for setting up their funds.

Appleby has been a key advisor and service provider. The global offshore law firm has administered more than 50 Cayman Island companies for WL Ross & Co., the law firm’s records show. In 2005, for instance, WL Ross & Co. acquired the German rail car and logistics company VTG, which later expanded into Russia and Eastern Europe. Appleby’s files include a group of five Cayman Islands companies whose names include “Euro Wagon” that were used to hold and manage VTG shares.

Appleby wooed WL Ross & Co executives at events it hosted, including at the US Open tennis tournament, and employees congratulated each other as the company’s holdings grew. The law firm reduced due diligence requirements for the Ross-related companies, designating them low risk and qualifying for decreased scrutiny under Cayman laws regulating law firms’ responsibility to investigate clients. “This is absolutely fantastic Sabine,” wrote Appleby attorney Matthew Taber, when compliance officer Sabine Calvetti delivered the news. “100 per cent spot on and really great work.”

In 2014, the Ross group was one of Appleby’s top 20 clients based on the number of companies administered.

Appleby’s files show that the four companies Ross retained are in two parallel chains of ownership, with Ross himself at the top. According to Appleby records, Ross is a shareholder and was a director of two companies established in July 2011 as general partners to control two other WL Ross & Co entities that invested in the shipping industry, which, in turn, control two WL Ross Group funds.

These funds invested in several shipping companies, including Navigator, according to SEC filings and Ross’ ethics disclosures.

In all, Mr Ross’s former firm, WL Ross & Co., is Navigator’s largest shareholder, owning 39.4 percent of Navigator through companies it controls. When he became commerce secretary, Ross kept his personal financial interest in some of the WL Ross entities but resigned from managing them. The ones he kept a stake in, which also include other investors, own a substantial part of the larger stake with 31.5 percent of the shipping company’s stock.

Federal ethics law requires officials to recuse themselves from matters that would have “a direct and predictable” effect on the official’s or a family member’s financial interest or if the official has a close relationship that might cause a reasonable person to doubt the official’s impartiality.

During his confirmation hearings, Mr Ross sought to reassure senators that he would avoid any conflicts of interest between his business holdings and his cabinet post. “I intend to be quite scrupulous about recusal and any topic where there is the slightest scintilla of doubt,” he said.

Bastian Obermayer, Frederik Obermaier, Rigoberto Carvajal and Inti Pacheco also contributed to this story.

Sunday, November 5, 2017, 17:55

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Shocking Budget For The Rich and Attacks on U. S. Working Class Proposed by Trump

Bernie Sanders: Republicans step up their assault on working-class America

Last Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017, 13:44

After failing to pass a “healthcare” Bill that would have thrown up to 32 million Americans off of health insurance, a Bill that was more unpopular than the Wall Street bailout, Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in congress are back. Now, they are pushing one of the most destructive and unfair budget and tax proposals in the modern history of our country – a plan that would do incalculable harm to tens of millions of working families, our kids, the sick, the elderly and the poor. The Republican budget, which will likely be debated on the floor of the US Senate this week, is the Robin Hood principle in reverse. It takes from those in need and gives to those who are already living in incredible opulence. Trump and Republican leaders claim their plan would provide a “big league” tax cut for the middle class. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, by the end of the decade, nearly 80 per cent of the tax benefits of the Republican plan would go to the top one per cent and 40 per cent would go to the top one-tenth of one per cent.

While the Republicans want to give a $1.9 trillion tax break to the top one percent, they are proposing massive cuts in programmes that working-class Americans desperately need.

This budget cuts Medicaid by more than $1 trillion over 10 years – which would throw some 15 million Americans off of the health insurance they currently have. Further, this budget does what the Republicans have not yet attempted to do in their previous healthcare legislation and that is to make a $473 billion cut to Medicare, despite Trump’s campaign promises not to cut these programmes.

Poll after poll after poll tells us that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want congress to cut Medicare or Medicaid and they do not want to provide tax breaks to the wealthy or large corporations.

A recent Pew Foundation poll found that 85 per cent of Republicans and 94 per cent of Democrats want to either maintain or increase funding for Medicare. And 60 per cent of Americans oppose slashing Medicaid, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

A recent Wall Street Journal and NBC poll found that only 12 per cent of the American people believe the wealthy should receive a tax cut; while 62 per cent believe the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Why are the Republicans bringing forth such an absurd budget that, in almost every instance, is diametrically opposed to what the American people want? The answer isn’t complicated. Follow the money.

Corrupt

Today, we have a corrupt campaign finance system that enables multibillionaires, along with some of the most powerful chief executives in America, to contribute many hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Republican candidates to represent their views. As a result, the top one per cent has been able to rig the political system to favour them at the expense of virtually everyone else.

Here are just a few examples. The Republican budget would give the richest family in America, the Walton family of Wal-Mart, a tax cut of up to $52 billion by repealing the estate tax – a tax that only applies to multimillionaires and billionaires. But, if you are a lower income senior citizen you and more than 700,000 other families may not be able to keep your home warm in the winter because of a cut of about $4 billion to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This budget says that if you are the second-wealthiest family in America, the Koch brothers, you will see a tax break of up to $33 billion. But if you are a working-class student trying to figure out how you could possibly afford college, your dream of a college education could evaporate along with 8 million other students because of more than $100 billion in cuts to Pell Grants and other student financial assistance programmes.

This budget gives members of the Trump family a tax cut of up to $4 billion, but if you are a low-income pregnant woman you and 1.2 million new mothers, babies, and toddlers may not be able to get the nutrition you need thanks to a $6.5 billion cut to the Women, Infants, and Children programme. What is alarming is that despite this incredible giveaway for the billionaire class, the Koch brothers and their network say that it’s not enough.

When David Koch ran for vice-president under the Libertarian Party in 1980, he advocated not just to cut Medicare and Medicaid, he wanted to abolish these programmes. He didn’t just want to cut taxes for the wealthy he wanted to eliminate all forms of taxation. At a time when the middle class is shrinking and over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, this budget must be defeated and replaced with a plan that reflects the needs of the working families of our country, not just the wealthy, the powerful and large campaign contributors.

Bernie Sanders is a US senator and sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016

Guardian Service

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Budget 2018- Dáil Eireann Tuesday 10th October 2017  Deputy Seamus Healy:

 Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and The Independent Alliance are determined to Protect the incomes and Assets of the Super-Rich from Fair Taxation at All Costs-That is why the Crises in Housing and Health are set to Continue  after this Budget .Government has ignored calls from ICTU, St Vincent De Paul Society, Focus Ireland, and 31 TDs to Formally Declare a National Housing Emergency. Reasonable persuasion has failed. It is time for Action on Streets.

“Today’s budget is shamefully inadequate, given the extreme crisis in housing and health and the need to restore cuts in welfare, disability provision, public service pay and pensions and many other areas. Some might say today’s budget is a missed opportunity, but not so.

It is, rather, a conscious decision, a conscious and deliberate policy, by Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil to protect the massive increase in wealth of the Irish super-rich from fair taxation and to make further tax concessions to them.

Prudent budgeting does not require limiting of spending to the shamefully low figures in today’s budget. The European Union fiscal treaty does not require it either but it does not forbid extra revenue-raising, provided it is recurrent. Significant additional income could have been raised if the Government was prepared to make the super-rich pay their fair share of taxation.

Here are the facts. On GDP per head, Ireland is wealthier than Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Italy. Overall, Ireland is ranked eighth in the world. The richest 12 in Ireland have €50 billion in total assets, having gained €6 billion in the last year alone. The top 300 have €100 billion, having gained €12 billion in the last year alone. The financial assets of the top 10% are €37 billion above the peak boom levels of 2006. The top 10,000 of personal income recipients have incomes totalling €6 billion per year, or average incomes of €600,000 per year each, and they have received the full benefit of income tax and USC reductions in the last two budgets and again today. The top 5% of all income recipients, on average incomes of €180,000, have received income tax and USC reductions in the last two budgets totalling €172 million. Today, they again benefit to the full from income tax and USC changes. Today, again, the fabulously wealthy will escape any additional imposition on their massive and growing wealth. In fact, they get €90 million out of today’s budget.

This is a regressive budget. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in its pre-budget submission correctly stated that Government policy has created an unequal nation. The society stated that the top 1% increased its share of income by 20%, but the share of income of the bottom 50% has fallen by 15%, and one in four one-parent families lives in consistent poverty. Government policy is shameful, cruel and anti-human. It makes the British landlords of old appear like charitable figures by comparison. There is one simple explanation. Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil are determined to protect the Irish super-rich from fair taxation.

First, tax and USC relief on the top 10,000 income recipients should be withdrawn, giving a saving of some €10 million. Instead, a higher marginal tax rate should be imposed on all individual incomes over €150,000 per year. A wealth and assets tax must be imposed on the super-rich while protecting small property owners. Skilled Department of Finance accountants will have no difficulty in sourcing three times the revenue the State is collecting solely by extra taxes on the super-rich. For example, the wealthiest 12 would hardly miss €1 billion out of the €6 billion they have gained in the last year alone and the top 10% of financial asset holders would hardly miss €1 billion from the €35 billion above what they had at peak boom levels in 2006. These measures would transform the Government’s ability to spend on housing and health, but the Government and Fianna Fáil are protecting the super-rich.

Housing and Homelessness

 

Today is world homelessness day. The proposals in this budget in respect of housing are scandalous. The Government’s policy of relying on developers and the market to solve the housing emergency has been a disaster for families, yet this policy is continued in today’s budget, again showing the support by Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil for the rich and powerful in our society. There is no change in housing policy in this budget. Not a single addition house will be built as a result of the budget proposals. The Government is persisting with its disastrous housing policy and, outrageously, it is continuing to evict families from their homes into a horrendous housing crisis through the banks it itself owns, Allied Irish Banks and permanent tsb. The Government policy of reliance on the market has created a housing emergency, rising homelessness, rising non-affordability and rising rents. The conscious decisions by successive Governments to outsource house building to a profit-dominated, land-speculative, developer-led market has created homelessness and deaths on our streets. The market system has failed and is entirely dysfunctional. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are affected and large numbers of children are being damaged.

Over 90,000 families languish on local authority housing waiting lists, a figure that has doubled since 2005.More than 20,000 families are on housing assistance payment schemes. This is a disaster for the families and a bonanza for the landlords. Families are paying rent to the local authority and significant top ups to landlords and at the end of the week, the families do not have two cents to rub together. An illness, a death, a first holy communion or a confirmation can drive them into debt and into the hands of moneylenders. Many more thousands are homeless. Currently more than 8,000 people, including some 3,000 children, are homeless. Many more are homeless who are sleeping on couches or doubling up with relatives. The proposals for housing in the budget are cruelly inadequate. We must have a housing policy change. We need a declaration of a national housing emergency. We must stop the voluntary surrender of homes, the so-called voluntary sale of homes, repossessions and evictions. We need a major, emergency, local authority social and affordable house building programme. This would be a win-win situation for all with additional jobs, less social welfare payments and more income tax. We also need to repeal the law that allows vulture funds and purchasers to evict sitting tenants.

The only explanation for the housing debacle – as I have already said – is the determination of Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance, supported by Fianna Fáil, to put the interests of the Irish super-rich above all else. These parties have opposed the formal declaration of a national housing emergency. Under the constitutional articles in respect of private property, the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Oireachtas would enable legislation to be passed that would end evictions, freeze rents and provide for the compulsory purchase of land and buildings. The Government has already used emergency legislation to confiscate private property through the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015, but when the property interests of the super-rich are at stake, the Government refuses to act.

National Demonstration/People Power

Through mass action on the streets, we forced the Government to retreat on water charges. We must do the same on housing. I will be calling a meeting of the 31 Deputies who voted in support of my amendment to the housing Bill last December. That amendment called for the declaration of a housing emergency. I will ask Deputies to call a national demonstration to force a change in housing policy. The Government has ignored the calls made by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Focus Ireland and other advocacy groups to declare a housing emergency and to build sufficient public homes to rapidly reduce homelessness and the local authority waiting lists. I will ask all those bodies to join a national demonstration. Reasonable persuasion has failed. The Government has refused to listen and the time for talking is now over. It is time to take action.

Health Services

What does the Taoiseach’s republic of opportunity look like for people who need to use our health services? It means 675,000 people on hospital waiting lists. Today, there were 514 people on hospital trolleys. In my town of Clonmel, in 2011 there were 750 people on trolleys in South Tipperary General Hospital – the year the last Fine Gael and the Labour Party Government came to power – and in 2017 that figure will be 7,000 people. We have huge waiting lists for various services. Urgent cases in urology services will be called in 48 months. That is four years. People are waiting two years for audiology services, anything up to four years for orthopaedic services and up to two years for cataract operations. Families waiting on assessments for children who have a disability, and who by law are entitled to assessment within three months of referral, are now being told they must wait for two years. Home helps and care assistants are run off their feet providing the 45 minutes of care in people’s homes. It goes on and on.

Today’s budget made no mention of the funding for the Sláintecare programme. We have been told that to provide the same level of service in 2018 as in 2017, including the requirements for demographic changes, would cost €900 million. Today, the health budget was allocated €685 million.

Disability Services

The disability community is bitterly disappointed tonight as its 643,000 members have been sidelined again with a very minor increase of around €15 million. There was no mention whatsoever of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To add insult to injury, in today’s budget we were told that the Taoiseach’s media quango, which was supposed to cost the State nothing – zilch – is going to cost €5 million. This will be used to spin, to gild the lily and to tell us half-truths. The health service also has a pay apartheid where young nurses are paid less than colleagues who work alongside them while doing the same work.

Mental Health Services

The mental health services remain the Cinderella of the health service. A Vision for Change, published way back in 2006, is still not funded, resourced or staffed. Community-based teams are a shadow of what they should be under the Vision for Change programme. There are not enough nurses, medical staff or paramedical staff. In my county of Tipperary, services have been completely decimated with inpatient services transferred to Kilkenny and to Ennis. The community-based services, which were supposed to be of Rolls Royce standard to compensate for the transferred inpatient services, are a shadow of the previous services. They are under-funded and under-staffed.

Mental Health Reform said tonight that “We are deeply concerned that essential mental health services will not be in place for people in mental distress who need them, and that new developments including expanding access to out-of-hours mental health services will not be possible”. They are deeply disappointed that a promised €35 million has transpired to be only €11.3 million. It was pointed out recently that a €65 million increase would be needed to maintain existing services and to provide for demographic changes.

Social Welfare

While any increase is welcome, the social welfare increases are paltry. An increase of €5 per week will not come into effect until the last week of March 2018. These increases will be wiped out by already announced and future increases in electricity, gas, rents, bin charges, health insurance, car insurance and cigarettes.

The treatment of children in this budget is absolutely despicable and an insult. There is no child benefit increase at all. There is a €2 per week increase for the dependent child allowance. This is in the context of 3,000 children who are homeless and 132,000 children living in consistent poverty. This is 11.5 % of the total child population.

Indeed, Barnardos stated tonight that these increases are unacceptable. We should have done a lot more for the children of the nation who we are supposed to look after, given that one in four one-parent families lives in consistent poverty. The organisation, One Family, stated tonight that it is disappointed with the proposals and that much more must be done to lift one-parent families out of Government-created poverty.

State Pension – Women – Age

There were two other areas in the social welfare budget that the Government should have addressed as a matter of urgency. It has been asked to address these matters urgently by Members on all sides of the House. I refer to the State pension for women who took time out to look after and rear families and now find themselves with zero or reduced pensions. It is time to ensure that the changes introduced by Deputy Burton when she was leader of the Labour Party are reversed and that those women get proper State pension payments. I refer also to the age at which pension entitlements accrue. It has gone to 66 and will go to 68. There is even talk of it going to 70. That should be reversed and the age should revert to 65. If individuals want to work beyond 65, it should be optional. Certainly, however, the pension age should revert to 65.

Education

Turning to education, while the reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio from 27:1 to 26:1 is welcome, we continue to have the second largest class sizes in Europe. Only the UK has larger class sizes. The average pupil-teacher ratio in Europe is 20:1, which shows how far we have to go. School communities and parents will be deeply disappointed that the capitation grant has not been increased. There is huge pressure on parents to make payments to schools, to run cake sales and draws and to otherwise support schools. Capitation payments must be increased.

Banks

The mark of this budget is the fact that AIB and permanent tsb, two banks which we, the people, bailed out, will now be tax free for another 21 years. That is absolutely unacceptable. As someone else said, this is a budget of bits and bobs. There is nothing substantial in it for ordinary families or, indeed, public services. It is a budget for the wealthy at the expense of public services, those who are homeless, those seeking housing and those who are patients in our hospitals.”

Seamus Healy T.D.

Tel 087 2802199

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Almost 22,000 Irish People Have Incomes Between 200,000 Euro and 2 million Euro Per Year!!!-Minister for Finance

They All Got The Same Tax Relief as a Person receiving 70,000 Euro per annum in the last two budgets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s 300 richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The Richest 12 gained 6 billion of this.It was was a Tax Free Gain

SHOCK!! RTE MENTIONS THAT INDIVIDUALS EARN MILLIONS IN PRIVATE SECTOR  FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS!

RTE  Commercial Director ,Willie O’Reilly, WAS DEFENDING THE SALARIES OF ITS TOP 10 BROADCASTERS

But why did they not tell us before that 3,334 persons in the private sector earn more than the current salary of top RTe earner Ryan-Tubridy on Euro 495,000?

PQ Reply By Minister For Finance Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD

After Budget 2012

Summary 

Between Euro  200,000 per year and over 2million per year   Number of Income Recipients=    21,864

Top 10,000 have average income of 595,000 per year

Top 10,000     Total Income per year= €5.959Billion   Average Income per year   €595,900

Number earning over   0.5 million= 3,334

Number earning over  €1 million=657

Number Earning over  €2 million=120

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RICH TO GET TAX CUTS IN BUDGET 2018 FUNDED BY SPENDING CUTS-VERADKAR

NO MENTION OF TAXING THE FINANCIAL ASSETS OF THE SUPER-RICH-NOW 37 BILLION EURO ABOVE PEAK BOOM LEVEL IN 2006-THE REAL “HIDDEN FISCAL SPACE”-(PH)

Extracts from Irish Independent 29/06/2017

Tax cuts for hard-working families will trump social welfare increases in next year’s budget, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has indicated.. . 

The Taoiseach is “determined” to find money for tax cuts in the next budget but is “not sure” if it will be possible to increase weekly payments for people with disabilities and carers.. . . 

However, in the clearest sign yet of his plans for Budget 2018, Mr Varadkar said the Government would “find some space to increase the take home pay of two million people who work really hard in this country, who get up every day, go to work, pay the taxes that make everything else possible”.. . . 

Mr Varadkar also revealed that the Government was considering cutting current public spending in certain areas to free up cash. The Taoiseach questioned whether existing spending programmes represent the best use of resources.. . . 

“If 1pc or 2pc of that could be re-allocated, we would have another billion. This is the hidden ‘fiscal space’.. . . 

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The worth of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland has hit €100bn, following a bumper year for property, bonds, stocks and other assets.

The greater part of the wealth of the these ultra-rich is usually in investments or financial assets. This means that there no tax of any kind on over 50 billion of these assets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The total was boosted by some significant gains in the tech sector.

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year, with the MSCI World Index, a global measure of stock exchanges, up 8.15pc by the end of 2016. Several asset classes grew more than this, particularly some tech stocks. 

Of the top 300, the top 12 has as much wealth as the other 288!!!

The Top 12 have more than  50 billion in assets !!!!!

Surely they could be required to pay a few billion to the state in tax each year?

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Worth of Ireland’s top 300 wealthiest soars above €100bn

Significant gains for the super-rich in Sunday Independent Rich List

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year’ Stock photo

Samantha McCaughren Business Editor, Sunday Independent

April 2 2017 2:30 AM

The worth of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland has hit €100bn, following a bumper year for property, bonds, stocks and other assets.

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The total was boosted by some significant gains in the tech sector.

One of the most noteworthy performances came from Limerick brothers John (26) and Patrick (28) Collison, the founders of payments company Stripe. Last year, their wealth was estimated to be €1.38bn. But both brothers became billionaires in their own right since then, when Stripe’s latest fundraising gave the company a $9bn (€8.4bn) valuation. The Collisons are believed to now hold at least 12pc each, making John the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

Others to have joined the list of billionaires include Eugene Murtagh of insulation maker Kingspan, which has enjoyed a share price increase of more than 25pc since early 2016. His holdings are now worth around €900m, while he has other assets.

Paul Coulson, chairman of packaging giant Ardagh, also saw a significant boost to his wealth following the flotation of the company on the New York Stock Exchange. His stake is now valued at €1.5bn, significantly higher than the previous estimate.

The Mistry family top the rankings once again, with a total wealth of €15.4bn. Pallonji Mistry (87) is a reclusive Indian tycoon with an Irish passport, and is married to Dublin-born Patsy Perin Dubash.

The wealthiest Irish-born individual is Denis O’Brien, a shareholder in Independent News & Media, publisher of this newspaper. His wealth is estimated to be €4.9bn.

There are 12 new entries, including James Murphy, whose health and beauty products company Lifes2Good sold its hair business to US corporation Church & Dwight for €150m.

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year, with the MSCI World Index, a global measure of stock exchanges, up 8.15pc by the end of 2016. Several asset classes grew more than this, particularly some tech stocks.

While 2017 got off to a good start, concerns are emerging about the impact US president Donald Trump’s policies will have on the world economy.

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Ireland gains 5,000 millionaires in 2016 as asset values rise-Wealth Report 2017

Looking specifically at Dublin, the report shows that the city is now home to a third of Ireland’s millionaire population, at 28,200, and 1,060 multimillionaires.(below)

But  Bertie’s Boom-time  Adviser and Progressive Democrat Founder, Gerard Howlin,  Advocates INCREASED TAXATION of the OLD and the LOWLY PAID-Irish Examiner (further down)

Number of Irish Millionaires Increases by 5,000 in 2016

Fiona Reddan    Irish Times

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 00:01

Almost 5,000 Irish people became millionaires last year, thanks to a combination of rising asset and property values.

And the rich are going to continue to get even richer – according to the Wealth Report 2017 from estate agent Knight Frank, which says some 24,900 more Irish people will be millionaires by 2026.

According to the annual report, there were 83,100 dollar millionaires – with investable assets of more than $1 million (€950,000), excluding their homes – in Ireland last year, up by 6 per cent on 2015.

The number of multimillionaires with over $10 million jumped by 160 to 2,760, while 50 Irish people entered the hallowed realm of the “ultra-high net worth” (over $30 million). That club now has 890 members.

There were, however, no new Irish billionaires last year, with the figure staying static at five. In the 10 years between 2006-2016, the number of Irish with “ultra-high net worth” grew by 25 per cent.

Looking specifically at Dublin, the report shows that the city is now home to a third of Ireland’s millionaire population, at 28,200, and 1,060 multimillionaires.

Some 370 ultra-high net worth individuals now live in Dublin, up by 6 per cent on last year, and this figure is expected to grow by 30 per cent to 481 by 2026 .

Comparison

As a comparison, Paris has 110,900 millionaires, Berlin has 32,800, Brussels is home to 34,700 millionaires, while Buenos Aires has just 15,400.

Overall, the study shows there was a modest rise in the global population of ultra-wealthy people in 2016, reversing last year’s decline. The data is compiled by market research firm New World Wealth.

However, it is not just the rich that are seeing their situation improve. Figures from the Central Bank show household net worth increased by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, with average Irish household wealth now standing at €141,427, largely on the back of rising house prices.


GERARD HOWLIN: Our tax base is too narrow to support our spending profile

Irish Examiner   Wednesday, March 01, 2017

With income tax we are dangerously out of kilter with the tax norms of countries we want to emulate, writes Gerard Howlin

“YOU can’t have a champagne lifestyle on a 7-Up budget son” was well-meant but astringent advice given years ago by a builder, who was doing a job for me. I had lost the run of myself, and he administered a dose of reality.

I can testify that he did a good job — a job that lasted. Regrettably, the days of being addressed as “son” are past. OAP status is still far away, but it’s eerily nearer now than the first flush of youth.

Interesting then to see that from today Simon Harris, the health minister, is reducing prescription charges for over-70s with a medical card by 50c per item from €2.50 to €2 as promised, and the monthly maximum regardless of the number of items from €25 to €20. That’s more like 7up than champagne for sure. And what sort would you be, if you begrudged it? It’s not like the health system has the money, but that doesn’t seem to matter. It will benefit 390,000 people 50c at a time.

From next week, a €5 per week increase in the old age pension kicks in for all pensioners, regardless of income. It’s interesting to look at the difference in tax paid by the old, compared to under-66-year-olds.

Dr Donal de Buirléir of publicpolicy.ie points out that on €20,000 a single pensioner pays €535 less in tax per year. That excludes PRSI, because they don’t pay any. For a married couple over 66, on a joint income of €36,000, the differential rises to €4,716. Their income is effectively tax free.

It’s not champagne, but it’s a lot of return in terms of State services, from health to public transport, all of which require investment, and which the old depend on more. In fact, it’s exorbitant largesse, from a State that can’t afford it. Regrettably, it’s not exceptional asymmetry in our out-of-kilter tax system.

In other news, it seems those of us who paid our water charges are to be refunded. Bizarrely, no consideration is being given to seeking a refund from us to the State, of the €100 hand-out for a “water conservation grant”. This, with new regulations for pint-sized apartments which will be building blocks for future slums, were signature initiatives from former environment minister, Alan Kelly. He is gone, but the debris remains.

It seems we aspire to public services on a par with European norms, but unlike those other countries, we won’t pay a water charge. Fine Gael made a bags of it in government. Fianna Fáil, in opposition, baulked. The entire response was led by a brilliant, but destructive campaign by the Left. They pulled Sinn Féin into line first. Fianna Fáil wasn’t far behind and now it’s the new normal.

It doesn’t add up though. Being a tax haven for the old is a lovely idea. The notion of ‘free’ water is an enjoyable hallucination, but the fact is that our tax base is unsustainably narrow.

Property tax is another Irish giveaway. It was frozen until 2019. Michael Noonan wanted to clear the political runway for successful electoral take-off before polling day, and took an increase off the table. Local authorities, which provide local services, including for the homeless are left without adequate funds. In addition, councillors usually, though not always, further reduce the tax by applying the up to 15% leeway, they have locally.

Then, astonishingly last Christmas, those most prominent in the campaign against water charges, in coalition with several who left their palm prints on reductions in an already modest property tax locally, turn up as Santa Claus in Dublin’s Apollo House, fulminating about those left homeless on the streets. It was the point at which stupidity passed into hypocrisy. It invested new levels of indifference into the refrain of “hey, hey, we won’t pay”.

But all of that is just the small part of the iceberg visible above the surface. The bigger deal is that in the wonderland that is our tax system the top 50% of tax payers pay 96% of personal tax. And top, so you are clear, is everyone earning over €30,000 a year. The remaining 4% of personal tax is paid by 21% of income earners. Extraordinarily 29% who earn, pay nothing. It’s crazy!

Sure, those who pay nothing earn very little. But those who earn very little, depend most on services which in the future, like the recent past, will be the first and hardest hit in a downturn, because our tax base is too narrow to support our spending profile. As with water charges, and property tax, so with income tax we are fundamentally and dangerously out of kilter with the tax norms of countries whose spending habits and service levels we want to emulate.

Last Friday night at the Irish Tax Institute, its president, Mark Barrett, issued a prophetic warning when he said: “We cannot run a country in which a few companies are too big to fail, or in which too few people bear the burden of taxation.”

He quoted the IMF which advised us that “the tax base is essential to minimise the impact of potential shocks and to withstand the upcoming demographics-driven expenditure pressure on the health of public finances as well as to safeguard the current welfare system”.

The minister for finance was sitting beside him. On his watch the percentage of income earners who pay no tax has risen from 12% to 29%. Our take on corporation tax, which is at 15% of exchequer income, is at or above average European levels, is dangerously out of kilter too. The top 10 companies pay fully 40% of it.

Admittedly, a water charge was attempted but it has been aborted. Property tax has been frozen. And then there are the recesses of our Vat system where, astonishingly, half of goods and services successfully elude any charge. More importantly than any single specific is a creeping return to the culture that led to the crash.

That’s all before serious, but imminent, talk on public sector pay. It’s the largely ignored backdrop to what I predict will be angry talk about subsidies for public transport this week. And that’s not to mention what other affront will emerge from an inefficient health service, hostage to vested interests, but which paradoxically is relatively well-funded. It won’t stop demands for more money, in return for precisely no reform though.

‘Equal’ is the preferred Sinn Féin word. ‘Fairness’ is the one Fianna Fáil likes. Further left, there is an entire scrabble set of them. Overheard from Fine Gael’s internal conservation are ruminations about social justice and inclusiveness. As of today, some who are perfectly capable of paying, will pay 50c less for every prescription item. There is €5 for everyone in the audience from next week. Swathes of the population are excused from obligation. It’s unsustainable and uncompetitive. The algae is blooming on the pond again.

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So You Thought Huge Salaries Existed Mainly in the Public Service !! None of the Top 10,000 Income Recipients on an average income of 595,000 Euro per year work in the Public Service.

But now it is revealed:

 Fat Cat Irish Private Bankers earned a total of €50million in pay and bonuses in one year-Irish Mirror

European figures show 26 Irish bankers earned an average of €1.9million each in 2015.

Fat cat Irish bankers earned a total of €50million in pay and bonuses in one year.

European figures show 26 Irish bankers earned an average of €1.9million each in 2015.

The names and companies have not been released but this group was given €14.7million in pay and benefits before sharing an added €37million in bonuses and shares.

Their sky-high salaries were revealed by the European Banking Authority – a leading London-based regulator.

All financial companies must tell the EBA how many staff are paid more than a million per year.

Figures showed the highest paid earned nearly €20million in salary and shares between them while another two, whose roles were not specified, amassed just over €3million.

A further eight investment bankers made €14.3million between them and another eight working in asset management companies shared €13.1 million.

(Executives of State Owned Banks are not included in the above as their remuneration is capped at 500,000 Euro)

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RICHEST TEN PER CENT OF IRISH HOUSEHOLDS  INCREASE TOTAL  WEALTH BY 20 Billion Dollars or 18 Billion Euro in LAST YEAR ALONE!!!

“Of course, much of this wealth generation is coming at the top end: Some 169,000 Irish people were in the top 1 per cent for global wealth in 2016, up by 6 per cent on 2015. In addition, some 7,000 Irish people became dollar millionaires last year”

3.1 per cent, or 110,000 people, now fall into the +$1 million (wealth) category, up from  2.6 per cent, or 91,208 people in 2014.

–  CREDIT SUISSE GLOBAL ANNUAL REPORT 2016

Rise in financial assets (€3.3bn) and in  housing assets (€1.9bn) in 3 months!!- Central Bank Report Q2 2016 

As the Richest 10% of households own 53.4% of total assets (and probably a higher percentage of Financial Assets), This means that the value of shares, bank deposits, bonds, insurance policies held by the richest 10% increased by at least 1.65 Billion Euro in 3 months. These Financial Assets of the Richest 10%  are now almost 37 billion Euro above PEAK BOOM LEVEL (CSO Institutional Sector Accounts)

Not a penny tax is payable on these financial assets

Fiona Reddin, Irish Times Last Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 12:52

Household wealth in Ireland is growing at the sixth fastest pace in the world, according to the seventh annual global wealth report from Zurich-based bank. The total wealth of Irish households rose by $38 billion to $770 billion (€ 725 billion) in 2016, up by 5 per cent on 2015. (Top 10% of Irish Households own 53.4% of all Irish household wealth-Central Bank)

This means that Ireland now has a 0.3 per cent share of global wealth. Back in 2000, we had a share of 0.2 per cent and wealth per head of $91,525.

Ireland is in sixth place in terms of both change in total household wealth (+5.2 per cent) and change in wealth per head (+4 per cent). That puts up behind only Japan (19.3 per cent), New Zealand (14.1 per cent), Hong Kong (8.1 per cent), the Czech Republic (6.8 per cent)and Indonesia (6.4 per cent).

Of course, much of this wealth generation is coming at the top end: Some 169,000 Irish people were in the top 1 per cent for global wealth in 2016, up by 6 per cent on 2015. In addition, some 7,000 Irish people became dollar millionaires last year.

This pace of growth means that, in 2016, wealth per adult in Ireland stood at $214,589 (€202,208), up by 4 per cent or €7,745 from 2015.

Irish median wealth

“Median” wealth indicates the middle wealth value, which is the level that represents more people (as average is swayed by the high net worth). In Ireland it is $80,668 per adult. Irish adults have debt of $50,762 per adult. Ireland’s household wealth previously peaked in 2007 at $222,823, before falling to $176,881 in 2011.

In comparison, wealth per adult in the UK is $288,808, with debt of just $48,893 and median wealth of $107,865. The US has wealth per adult of $344,692, debt of $56,793, and median wealth of just $44,977.

The richest European country is Switzerland, where the median wealth is $244,002, debt is $143,364 and wealth per adult is $561,854.

Rising house prices are behind the resurgence in Irish wealth, which may be why so few of us have yet to feel an uplift. Property accounts for 60 per cent of our wealth ($156,509), compared with 47.6 per cent in the UK, 58.9 per cent in Germany and 28.3 per cent in the US.

According to the Credit Suisse survey, almost a third of Irish residents (31.8 per cent) have wealth of less than $10,000; 23 per cent lie in the $10,000-$100,000 range; 42.2 per cent have wealth of between $100,000-$1 million; and 3.1 per cent, or 110,000 people, fall into the +$1 million category, up from up from 2.6 per cent, or 91,208 people in 2014.

There were no new billionaires, however, with this figure steady on 2015 at five. The US can claim 582 billionaires and the UK 434.

Selling down

The survey also points to a reversal in the trend of Irish people selling down their equity holdings. In 2005, some 22 per cent of the country’s financial wealth was held in equities. This slid to 12.7 per cent in 2014 before advancing again in 2015 to 13.7 per cent. This compares with 44.2 per cent in the US and 12.6 per cent in the UK.

Household wealth in the UK declined by $1.5 trillion, or 10 per cent, the report shows, as “a direct consequence” of the Brexit vote. This means that the number of dollar millionaires in the UK fell by 15 per cent.

“The US had a tumultuous end to 2015-2016, with sharp declines in the exchange rate and the stock market following the vote to leave the EU,” Credit Suisse said in the report. “The outlook is very uncertain, both for the economy and household wealth.”

Global wealth advanced by 1.4 per cent to $256 trillion, reflecting lacklustre economic growth. It is expected to reach $334 trillion by 2021, according to Credit Suisse.

————————————————————

FINANCE BILL-BUDGET FOR THE RICH PASSED BY Dáil

Fine Gael and the following others voted for the Finance Bill ( Budget for the Rich):

Mattie McGrath, Michael Lowry, John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Dr Michael Harty, Seán Canney, “Boxer” Moran, Denis Naughten, Shane Ross, Katherine Zappone

Fianna Fáil Formally Abstained

11 Deputies did not vote (not included in formal Abstentions (staon))

Dáil Record of Voting is carried below

Budget For The Rich

The overall effect of the budget is Rich Top 5% of income recipients  on average incomes of 186,000 Euro per year will now Pay 172 million less USC/Tax than in 2015

No Tax was imposed on Financial Assets of individuals which are now well above peak boom level. The shares, bank deposits, insurance policies etc of the top 10% of households are now 35 BILLION above peak boom level in 2006

Hospitals, Schools, Housing , Welfare WILL REMAIN UNDER-FUNDED by the Gvernment’s own admission. Restorations of these public services are the subject of “5 year plans”, medium and long term strategies etc.  For example, there is no commitment to end homelessness (over 6000 in emergency accommodation and still rising) within a year.

There is no provision for further restoration of pay and pensions beyond that set out in the Lansdowne Rd Agreement and FEMPI ACT 2015

Dáil Record

Question put: “That the (Finance) Bill do now pass.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 58; Staon, 30; Níl, 38.

Staon Níl
      Bailey, Maria.       Aylward, Bobby.       Adams, Gerry.
      Barrett, Seán.       Brassil, John.       Barry, Mick.
      Breen, Pat.       Breathnach, Declan.       Boyd Barrett, Richard.
      Brophy, Colm.       Browne, James.       Brady, John.
      Burke, Peter.       Butler, Mary.       Broughan, Thomas P.
      Byrne, Catherine.       Cahill, Jackie.       Buckley, Pat.
      Canney, Seán.       Calleary, Dara.       Burton, Joan.
      Cannon, Ciarán.       Casey, Pat.       Collins, Joan.
      Carey, Joe.       Chambers, Jack.       Collins, Michael.
      Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.       Chambers, Lisa.       Coppinger, Ruth.
      Coveney, Simon.       Donnelly, Stephen S.       Crowe, Seán.
      Creed, Michael.       Dooley, Timmy.       Cullinane, David.
      D’Arcy, Michael.       Haughey, Seán.       Doherty, Pearse.
      Daly, Jim.       Lahart, John.       Ellis, Dessie.
      Deasy, John.       Lawless, James.       Ferris, Martin.
      Deering, Pat.       Martin, Micheál.       Fitzmaurice, Michael.
      Doherty, Regina.       McGrath, Michael.       Funchion, Kathleen.
      Donohoe, Paschal.       Moynihan, Aindrias.       Healy-Rae, Danny.
      Doyle, Andrew.       Moynihan, Michael.       Healy, Seamus.
      Durkan, Bernard J.       Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.       Kenny, Gino.
      English, Damien.       Murphy, Eugene.       Kenny, Martin.
      Farrell, Alan.       O’Brien, Darragh.       McDonald, Mary Lou.
      Fitzgerald, Frances.       O’Callaghan, Jim.       Mitchell, Denise.
      Fitzpatrick, Peter.       O’Keeffe, Kevin.       Munster, Imelda.
      Flanagan, Charles.       O’Rourke, Frank.       Murphy, Paul.
      Griffin, Brendan.       Ó Cuív, Éamon.       Nolan, Carol.
      Halligan, John.       Rabbitte, Anne.       O’Brien, Jonathan.
      Harris, Simon.       Scanlon, Eamon.       O’Reilly, Louise.
      Harty, Michael.       Smith, Brendan.       O’Sullivan, Maureen.
      Heydon, Martin.       Troy, Robert.       Ó Broin, Eoin.
      Humphreys, Heather.       Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
      Kehoe, Paul.       Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
      Kyne, Seán.       Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
      Lowry, Michael.       Pringle, Thomas.
      Madigan, Josepha.       Ryan, Brendan.
      McEntee, Helen.       Ryan, Eamon.
      McGrath, Finian.       Smith, Bríd.
      McGrath, Mattie.       Stanley, Brian.
      McHugh, Joe.
      McLoughlin, Tony.
      Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
      Moran, Kevin Boxer.
      Murphy, Dara.
      Murphy, Eoghan.
      Naughten, Denis.
      Naughton, Hildegarde.
      Neville, Tom.
      Noonan, Michael.
      O’Connell, Kate.
      O’Donovan, Patrick.
      O’Dowd, Fergus.
      Phelan, John Paul.
      Ring, Michael.
      Rock, Noel.
      Ross, Shane.
      Stanton, David.
      Varadkar, Leo.
      Zappone, Katherine.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Paul Murphy and Richard Boyd Barrett.

Question declared carried.

————————————————

RESEARCH DOCUMENT INCLUDING DETAILED CALCULATIONS

SO YOU BELIEVE THAT INCREASED INVESTMENT IN PARTICULAR PUBLIC SERVICES COULD ONLE BE DONE AT EXPENSE OF OTHER PUBLIC SERVICES?

THAT PAY AND PENSION RESTORATION FOR ONE GROUP CAN BE ONLY DONE AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER PUBLIC SERVANTS?

Or

Funded by an increase of 4% in top Income Tax Rate?

THIS IS RUBBISH!! It IS JUST PROPAGANDA OF THE SUPER-RICH AND THEIR SERVANTS IN POLITICS AND IN THE MEDIA

 

READ ON!!!!!

 

IN GDP PER HEAD IRELAND IS WEALTHIER THAN GERMANY, UK, US, FRANCE, ITALY

IRELAND IS RANKED 8th in World.

BUT Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.—Bertlesman Institute Report (GERMANY), Irish Examiner, Sept 16, 2015

Super-Rich Irish Awash With Money

Full Details http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

—————————————————————–

TOP 10%  Have increase in Net Financial ASSETS of 35 billion since peak boom level in 2006

Not A Penny in Property Tax Tax is Payable on This huge Gain

But households in negative equity have to pay LPT

 

Financial Assets are one form of Property

Positive Financial Assets include shares, bank deposits, insurance policies. Negative Financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt etc

Financial assets do not include dwelling houses, farms , workshops, business premises-these are fixed assets

Recent Corrected  Figures for Financial Assets of Households (Individuals not companies) have been issued by Central Statistics Office

Institutional Sector Accounts (Financial) 2015 (millions)  Households

Gross Financial Assets    Total liabilities       Net Financial Asets.

2015        363,316              160,459                        202,857

Peak Boom 2006                                                                   132,032 m

The total Gain since peak boom level (2006)           70,825m

Top 10% own 53.8% of all household Assets  (Financial +Fixed)

Assuming they own same % of net Financial assets(they probably Own a higher percentage)

2015              53.8% of 202,857 =109 Billion

2006               53.8% of 132,032= 74  million

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS INCREASE for Top 10% of Households since PEAK BOOM=35 Billion Euro

 

Why Doesn’t the Government cancel the concession to the super-rich, end the lock-out and re-open the schools?

Income Tax and USC Relief To  High Incomes Over Two Most Recent Budgets Totalled Over  172 Million Euro

Government Concession to Top 5% of Income recipients (110,000 units) with average incomes of 186,000 EU per year  Detailed Calculation wp.me/pKzXa-oM

( Assuming One third of units or c. 37,000 in this high Income bracket  are self-employed- There were 85,000 self-employed with paid employees and 231,000 without employees active in irish economy in 2014)   Stats below show that there are 18% self-employed in workforce (including part-time employees, minimum wage employees etc)

 

 

Budget 2017 Tax/USC Concessions to top 5%

                Employee Gain 353 Eu    Self Employed Gain 353+400=  753 eu    (400 is a tax credit)

Top 5 %   Average income 186,000 Eu  Number of Units    110,000                Tot Gain

Employees              73,333               25,886,549

Self-employed               36,667              27,610,251

All                                                 53,496,800

—————————————————————————————–  

Budget 2016

Employee Gain 902 Eu    Self Employed Gain  902+550+  1452Eu     (550 is a tax credit)

Employees          73,333                 66,146,366

Self-Employed        36,667               53,240,484

All                  119,386,850

————————————————————————

Concession To Top 5%  Over  2 Years     All               172,883,650

 

 

595,000 euro per year is the average income the TOP 10,000 income Recipients

None of these are Public Servants-ALL IN PRIVATE SECTOR

Assuming all these are self-employed, They received 22.98 Million of The 172 million in tax concessions in last budget

Irish Economy 2014: Number of employees remains below bailout quarter of 2010
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 27, 2014 – 6:08 AM
Email this article
Printer friendly page

(Thousands)

All self-employed                                                  318.3

Employees(Including Schemes)                               1,541.2

Schemes                                                                    85.0

Actual Employees                                                       1,456.2

Actual Self Employed +Actual Employees         =        1,774.5

% Self-Employed                                                      =  18%

600 Million in Tax Concessions to Hotel Owners in last Budget   

Full Details http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

SIPTU PRESIDENT JACK O’CONNOR CONTRADICTS NOONAN’S FALSE CLAIM THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME

                                                                                                          

 LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

600 million in tax concessions (VAT REDUCTION) given to owners of hotels which have fully recovered in Budget –Jack O’Connor (SIPTU)

BUT ONLY 290 MILLION PROVIDED FOR RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY AND PENSIONS UNDER LANSDOWNE RD/FEMPI-THE GOVERNMENT MADE CHOICES

Mr O’Connor said: “We utterly reject the assertion that there is no money and that it is a choice between pay increases and services for the public.

“This is an absolutely false dichotomy. The fact of the matter is that the Government made choices in the budget. For example, it decided to continue to gift business in the hotel and hospitality sector with special VAT concessions costing more than €600 million (VAT REDUCTION) per annum at the tax-payers expense. They chose to do so despite the fact that the industry has fully recovered.

Mr O’Connor said the Government was also prepared “ to splurge a further €46 million on gifting for the wealthy through cutting capital taxes”

BUDGET 2017:  HIGHEST  INCOMES ATTRACTED  HIGHEST TAX/USC RELIEF

Minister Noonan: “Tax and USC reductions have been targeted at those on low and middle incomes”

NOT TRUE !!!  

Those over an annual income of 70,000 Euro are getting 146 million  in Tax/USC Relief or almost 50% out of total relief of 300 million in Budget

The 300,000 over 70,000EU per year are getting at least 40 million more in tax relief than the 324,000 in the 30,000 to 40,000 category (average industrial wage 36,500).

A TD is getting an extra 7 euro per week from Jan 1.  A person on average industrial wage(36,500 per year) is getting an extra 3.42 Euro per week,

A person on minimum wage (18,720 per year) is getting Tax/USC relief of 2 Euro per week . 

A rich business person (self-employed) on 200,000 per year is getting 14.5 euro per week from Jan 1

An adult social welfare recipient including pensioners is getting a social welfare increase 5 Euro from March 1 which is equivalent to 4 Euro per week from Jan 1

 

IN GDP Per HEAD IRELAND IS WEALTHIER THAN GERMANY, UK, US, FRANCE, ITALY

IRELAND IS RANKED 8th in World. 

BUT Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.—Bertlesman Institute Report (GERMANY), Irish Examiner, Sept 16, 2015

 

WIKIPEDIA

IMF uses Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) as a basis for comparison .                                                 PPP basis is arguably more useful when  Comparing generalized differences in living standardsbetween nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using only exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. This is why GDP (PPP) per capita is often considered one of the indicators of a country’s standard of living,[2][3] although this can be problematic because GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income. 

 

 

International Monetary Fund (2015)[
Rank Country Int$
1  Qatar 132,870
2  Luxembourg 99,506
3  Singapore 85,382
4  Brunei 79,508
5  Kuwait 70,542
6  Norway 68,591
7  United Arab Emirates 67,217
8  Ireland 65,806
9  San Marino 62,938
10   Switzerland 58,647
 Hong Kong 56,878
11  United States 56,084
12  Saudi Arabia 53,802
13  Netherlands 49,624
14  Bahrain 49,601
15  Sweden 48,199
16  Australia 47,644
17  Austria 46,986
18  Germany 46,974
 Taiwan 46,833
19  Denmark 45,723
20  Iceland 45,666
21  Canada 45,602
22  Belgium 44,148
23  Oman 43,707
24  Equatorial Guinea 43,522
25  United Kingdom 41,499
26  France 41,476
27  Finland 41,109
28  Japan 38,142
29  South Korea 36,612
30  New Zealand 36,136
31  Malta 36,042
32  Italy 35,781
33  Spain 34,861

———————————–

SIPTU PRESIDENT JACK O’CONNOR CONTRADICTS NOONAN’S FALSE CLAIM THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

600 million in tax concessions given to owners of hotels which have fully recovered in Budget BUT. . . 

ONLY 290 MILLION PROVIDED FOR RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY AND PENSIONS UNDER LANSDOWNE RD/FEMPI-THe GOVERNMENT MADE CHOICES

Mr O’Connor said: “We utterly reject the assertion that there is no money and that it is a choice between pay increases and services for the public.

“This is an absolutely false dichotomy. The fact of the matter is that the Government made choices in the budget. For example, it decided to continue to gift business in the hotel and hospitality sector with special VAT concessions costing more than €600 million per annum at the tax-payers expense. They chose to do so despite the fact that the industry has fully recovered.

Mr O’Connor said the Government was also prepared “ to splurge a further €46 million on gifting for the wealthy through cutting capital taxes”

NOONAN FALSELY CLAIMS THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

BUT he gave 172 million to those on average Pay of 186,000 Euro in Last Two budgets

IRISH TIMES: “In Brussels yesterday, Mr Noonan said it was “simply not affordable” to provide the same level of pay increases to all public service staff as those recommended for gardaí.

Mr Noonan said the Garda pay proposals fell within the parameters of the Lansdowne Road agreement.”-Irish Times 11/08/2016

The top 5% of Income Recipients have average incomes of 186,000 per year. These are now paying 172 million less in tax than before budget 2016

Virtually all those in this income bracket are in the private sector. Even TDs are below it. The Taoiseach and Full Ministers are included. The cohort mainly consists of owners of large businesses, GPs and medical consultants, cosulting engineers, big landlords with rental income, solicitors, barristers, vets, auctioneers, bookmakers, race horse owners and trainers  etc

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF RICHEST 10% OF IRISH HOUSEHOLDS ARE NOW OVER 35 BILLION Euro ABOVE PEAK BOOM  LEVEL-CENTRAL BANK REPORT 2015

TOP 10% Gained over 6 Billion in the year 2015 alone

TOP 10% Now Own 53.8% of all Household Assets Including 102.5 Billion in Shares, Bank Deposits, Insurance Policies, Bonds and other Financial Instruments

BUT NOT A PENNY IN ASSETS TAX IS PAYABLE ON THESE FINANCIAL ASSETS!!! These are part of the personal wealth of individuals not of Companies

On The Other Hand the Government Gave a total of 172 Million in tax relief to the top 5% of income recipients on an average income of 186,000 over last two Budgets–(SEE  on this Blog:  Tax Evasion by Irish Rich    http://wp.me/pKzXa)

Central Bank Report 2015 says net financial assets (note 1) of households have increased by + 8 –(-4.7)=12.7 Billion in 2015

Net Financial Assets     2015        192,076 m

Peak Boom                       2006       132,032 m

Gain              60,044m     0r by factor of    1.45

Up by almost 50% since Peak Boom level

Net financial assets of households      2015        192,076 m

Net Financial Assets  “Bust”                2008          69,218

Gain                        122 ,8 58 m or by factor of 2.77

These Figures have been corrected routinely by CSO and the verified figures now are:

Institutional Sector Accounts (Financial) 2015 (millions)

Gross Financial Assets       Total liabilities       Net Financial Asets.

363,316                                            160,459                        202,857

The total Gain since peak boom level (2006) is actually        70,825

Top 10% own 53.8% of all household Assets

Assuming they own same % of net Financial assets=53.8% of 202,857 =109 Billion

53.8% of Gross Financial Assets     = 53.8% of 363,316= 195.5 billion

(reality is probably above 109 billion and below 195.5 billion-PH)

NET WEALTH OF HOUSEHOLD= Gross Financial Assets + Gross Fixed Assets (note 2) less Gross Liabilities

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each  

Total Irish Household Net Worth   595.7 billion in Quarter 1, 2015   up 2.2% over 3 months   19/08/2015

(These are the personal property of Irish PEOPLE, not of banks or of companies etc)

http://www.centralbank.ie/publications/Documents/Quarterly%20Bulletin%20No.%203%202015.pdf

Note 1:  Financial Assets Are shares, bank deposits, insurance policies. and other FINANCIAL instruments and does not include homes, farms, shops, buildings

Financial Liabilities include mortgage balance, credit card debt and other financial debts

Note 2: Fixed assets include homes, farms, rental properties,workshops, commercial properties, yachts, paintings and other NON-FINANCIAL items owned

———————————————

CSO 2014

The most recent  INSTITUTIONAL SECTOR ACCOUNTS  issued by the Central Statistics Office(CSO) show that the Net Financial assets of Households in 2014 were considerably( c 41 billion Euro) above PEAK BOOM LEVELS in 2006. There is no levy, charge or tax on the vast bulk of these large assets nor has there been as the assets grew over the last 5 years. These assets include shares, bank deposits, Insurance policies etc but do not include homes, letting properties, farms or other fixed assets.Mortgage debt, Credit card debt, and loans held by individuals are negative financial assets. They are subtracted from  gross finacial assets to get the net figure. Consequently the gains of the very rich, those who have net positive assets, have been enormous.

There is no wealth tax on these financial assets. However there is a wealth tax on homes and dwelling houses (Local Property Tax) irrespective of the income of the owner however low.

Interest and dividends are income and are liable to income tax.

———————————————————————–

BERTLESMAN INSTITUTE: IRELAND VERY RICH BUT AMONG WORST IN WEALTH DISTRIBUTION

Irish Examiner Sept 16

The growing number of poor people in crisis-hit countries and among young people threatens the existence of the EU, warned the prestigious German think-tank which carried out the study.

Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.

Irish Times Sept 16

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/ireland-urged-to-do-more-for-its-vulnerable-population-1.1929914

“Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation ranked Ireland 18th among the EU 28 members, below Poland and Slovakia, in a survey of social justice in Europe.

“The foundation cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. “Ireland has a similarly high GDP per capita,similar to Sweden, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and counts as one of the biggest losers in the country comparison,” the report noted.” (Irish Times)

It is true that public finances are in an appalling state.

But this is because:

1)successive governments have refused to impose sufficiently high taxes on the incomes and assets of the super-rich Irish to pay for necessary public services

2) The current and previous government have agreed that the citizens of the state should pay the 67 Billion Euro which LARGE international investors had lent to privately owned Irish Banks when the banks crashed.(small shareholders were not rescued)

The official statistics on incomes and assets set out below show the obscene wealth of the super-rich Irish at this time. In summary, the top 10,000 income recipients have average declared incomes of 595,000 euro per year each. The financial assets (shares, bank deposits) of Irish households had already climbed back above 2006 boom levels in 2012

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro from 50 Billion to 62 Billion or a gain of 200 million euro each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

The overwhelming majority of  the  super-rich are active in the private sector of the economy. 

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

——————————

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF HOUSEHOLDS NOW 60 BILLION ABOVE BOOM  LEVEL-CENTRAL BANK REPORT 2015

BUT NOT A PENNY IN ASSETS TAX IS PAYABLE ON THESE FINANCIAL ASSETS!!! These are part of the personal wealth of individuals not of Companies

Central Bank Report 2015 says net financial assets of households have increased by + 8 –(-4.7)=12.7 Billion in 2015

Net Financial Assets     2015        192,076 m

Peak Boom                       2006       132,032 m

Gain              60,044m     0r by factor of    1.45

Up by almost 50% since Peak Boom level

Net financial assets of households      2015        192,076 m

Net Financial Assets  “Bust”                2008          69,218

Gain                        122 ,8 58 m or by factor of 2.77

CSO 2014

The most recent  INSTITUTIONAL SECTOR ACCOUNTS  issued by the Central Statistics Office(CSO) show that the Net Financial assets of Households in 2014 were considerably( c 41 billion Euro) above PEAK BOOM LEVELS in 2006. There is no levy, charge or tax on the vast bulk of these large assets nor has there been as the assets grew over the last 5 years. These assets include shares, bank deposits, Insurance policies etc but do not include homes, letting properties, farms or other fixed assets.Mortgage debt, Credit card debt, and loans held by individuals are negative financial assets. They are subtracted from  gross finacial assets to get the net figure. Consequently the gains of the very rich, those who have net positive assets, have been enormous.

There is no wealth tax on these financial assets. However there is a wealth tax on homes and dwelling houses (Local Property Tax) irrespective of the income of the owner however low.

Interest and dividends are income and are liable to income tax.

———————————————–

The obscenely unequal and unfair distribution of wealth in Ireland (See Further Down)

is  replicated in the Entire Capitalist World 

62 richest have more wealth than 50% of world’s population!

Richest 1% now wealthier than the rest of the world, Oxfam says

blomberg Jan 18

The charity called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce inequality

Oxfam says the richest 1% of the world’s population own more than the rest of the world

The charity called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce inequality

The richest one per cent is now wealthier than the rest of humanity combined, according to Oxfam, which called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce such inequality.

In a report published on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the anti-poverty charity cited data from Credit Suisse in declaring the most affluent controlled most of the world’s wealth in 2015. That’s a year earlier than it had anticipated.

Oxfam also calculated that 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.5 billion people, the bottom half of the global population, compared with 388 individuals five years earlier. The wealth of the most affluent rose 44 per cent since 2010 to $1.76 trillion, while the wealth of the bottom half fell 41 percent or just over $1 trillion.

The charity used the statistics to argue that growing inequality poses a threat to economic expansion and social cohesion. Those risks have already been noted in countries from the US to Spain, where voters are increasingly backing populist political candidates, while it’s sown tensions on the streets of Latin America and the Middle East.

“It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world’s population owns no more than a few dozen super-rich people who could fit onto one bus,” said Winnie Byanima, executive director of Oxfam International. “World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action.”

Oxfam said governments should take steps to reduce the polarisation, estimating tax havens help the rich to hide $7.6 trillion. Politicians should agree on a global approach to ending the practice of using offshore accounts, it said.

“Don’t just look at the very bottom, who have nothing, but look at the bottom 50pc – they own almost nothing of the country.These are the facts. This is not opinion. This is Ireland.”-David McWilliams

DIVISION OF NET WEALTH IN IRELAND-David McWilliams

As the election looms it’s worth looking at the real division of wealth By David McWilliams

To View Charts paste this link into browser:

http://olearylp.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/17th-December-2015.pdf

A little while ago, I presented a programme on RTÉ called ‘Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide’. The aim of the documentary was to highlight the significant and persistent divide in wealth that exists in Ireland. The reason it is an important issue to highlight is that even when the economy recovers, the benefits will not be evenly – or even remotely evenly – spread and this wealth divide has significant, long-term ramifications for the health of the society.

At the time of screening, there were some people who, like climate change deniers, continued to express the opinion that the wealth divide in Ireland was not a big deal and that it might be overstated.

This is not the case, and in the past few weeks, two other major studies – one by TASC and one by the OECD – have added to the canon of work proving that the divide in wealth in this country is a serious issue and that in the past few years, the divide between the income of those at the very top and those at the bottom has also increased.

This divide is important, because if people get left behind they may give up hope. Having wealth or having even a meagre stake in society changes the way people view themselves and the way they view the future.

For example, consider this one experiment involving a group of poor American families. Some of the parents were given a small savings fund, which was to be set aside for their children’s university fees when the kids grew up.

The kids were then assessed for cognitive reasoning every two years and, by the fourth year, the children whose parents had the small education fund were performing better in all tests than those who hadn’t received the fund. The implication of this is that the parents with this small stake in the future were changing their own behaviour towards their children’s education, such as reading to them, paying more attention to their homework and so on. This is extraordinary, because it reveals what having a stake in society, having something to aim for, does to people. It focuses people and gives them something to believe in.

If people have something small – a savings fund, a bit of wealth, a sense that they matter and that their future is in their hands – they change their behaviour for the better. Now armed with this type of thinking, look at the two almost identical charts. These show how wealth is divided in Ireland. One chart represents the estimates of the international bank Credit Suisse and the other represents the findings of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey. These charts are taken from the recent TASC paper published last week entitled ‘The Distribution of Wealth in Ireland’. I urge you to read it if you have any interest in the future of this society.

If we look at the share of the wealth owned by the top 10pc, top 5pc and top 1pc in Ireland, we see similar evidence produced by both reports. According to the survey carried out by the CSO the top 10pc own 53.8pc of the wealth of this country; the top 5pc own 37pc of the wealth; and the top 1pc own 15pc.

FIGURE 1 HFCS CHART

According to Credit Suisse, the concentration at the top is even stronger. Its estimates suggest that the top 10pc own 58.6pc of the wealth; the top 5pc own 46.4pc; and the top 1pc own 27pc. Even taking into account the slight disparity, the concentration of wealth at the very top in both studies is extraordinary on any democratic basis.

FIGURE 2 CREDIT SUISSE CHART

Indeed, because the CSO data is from a survey in which it asked people to declare their wealth, there is a very strong possibility that at the very top the very rich decided to understate their wealth, so the very rich might have played down their assets. The difference between the two is the split within the 10pc; not the split between the top 10pc and the rest. In both studies, the top 10pc own over half the wealth of the country.

The interesting aspect of these studies is the sense that Irish people know things aren’t right. We feel that something is not right and every time we are asked we say that we would prefer the society to be fairer. In the programme ‘Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide’ we conducted our own survey, where we asked people what they thought was the gap between the top 20pc and next 20pc and so on, down to the people at the bottom. We asked what you thought the gap was, then what you thought it “ought” to be and then we revealed what it actually was.

The gap between what you thought it was, what you thought it ought to be and what it is in reality is a huge one.

The consensus from a Red C poll of 1,000 people commissioned for the documentary was that Ireland’s richest 20pc had 60pc of the country’s wealth and that the poorest 20pc have 11pc.

The reality? The most affluent 20pc in Ireland actually own 73pc of the country’s wealth and the poorest 20pc own just 0.2pc. As for the top 5pc, their combined wealth is nearly double that of the entire “squeezed middle”.

Now look at the people at the bottom in Ireland in the two charts. While there are slight variations, the overall message is very clear. The charts are broken down into the top 10pc and down to the bottom 10pc.

Don’t just look at the very bottom, who have nothing, but look at the bottom 50pc – they own almost nothing of the country.

These are the facts. This is not opinion. This is Ireland.

As we head into an election year, it’s worth considering just how many people are being left behind, how many are being shut out. Consider how many people wake up with no hope, no stake, no way of seeing how they play a role in our society, no way of seeing a road map to a better future.

That’s what the wealth gap is all about. It is undeniable and it is persistent. Shouldn’t this be the main electoral issue next year in the year that we celebrate the centenary of a Republic that was supposed to cherish all the children equally?

But will it be?

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Top 10,000 had greater income than IFA General Secretary over 7 years.

Over the 7 years,he got 3.5 million, they got 4.16 million each. The top 10,000 club, almost exclusively private sector, are to get just below 11 million EXTRA between them next year and every subsequent year from Lab/FG government in tax and USC concessions in Budget 2016

Average Gross Income of top 10,000=595,000 Each(PQ reply from Minister Noonan to S Healy TD)

Total Gross Income of TOP 10,000=5.95 Billion=5950,000,00 Euro

USC and Tax Concessions- Budget 2016

Employees            6,667 X 902=6,013,634

Self Employed:    3,333X 1452=4,839,516

Total     10,000       =10,853,150

(assuming one third self-employed and two thirds of 10,000 are employees. calculation:Deloitte Budget calculator)

—————————————————————

AVERAGE INCOME OF TOP 10,000 is Above that of  IFA General Secretary

IFA General Secretary on 535,000 Euro per year in 2013

Top 10,000 income recipients have average salary above this (Dáil Reply to Seamus Healy TD by Finance Minister, Noonan)

Top 10,000    Average Income   €595,900 %  AFTER TAX INCOME 364,000


Central Bank Report  2015 

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each  

Total Irish Household Net Worth   595.7 billion in Quarter 1, 2015   up 2.2% over 3 months   19/08/2015

(These are the personal property of Irish PEOPLE, not of banks or of companies etc)

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each

http://www.centralbank.ie/publications/Documents/Quarterly%20Bulletin%20No.%203%202015.pdf

TOTAL NET FINANCIAL ASSETS of Households were 165 Billion in 2013. Increase in Financial Assets from the 2008 (“Bust”) to 2013 was 93 billion or an increase 51% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) . There has been further annual increases since then.  There is no wealth tax on these massive gains. Finacial assets are shares,bonds, bank deposits etc less mortgages, credit card debt, etc. As the value of homes is excluded, financial assets are more heavily weighted towards the super-rich than all wealth. Most households with a mortgage are likely to have negative financial assets though not in negative equity.  

Incomes of Super-Rich  (Individuals and Jointly Taxed Couples-Reply to Parliamentary Question)

Top 0.46%   10,000      Total Income   €5,959m       Income per Year Each  €595,900   

Top 1%        21,650      Total Income    €8,742 m     Income per year EACH  €403,760

Though 80% to 88% of this income is technically subject to income tax at 40%, these are paying a maximum of 27% of there overall income in income tax. They are major beneficiaries of tax breaks. They all received 747 Euro per annum in tax relief in Budget 2015!

See Further Down for Full Details

DISTRIBUTION OF NET WEALTH AMONG HOUSEHOLDS  Derived From Central bank Report Q1 2015

Irish State  No. Of Households 1,658,243    CSO  2011

Top 1%  16,582    Net Worth= 15% of 595.7 billion    =  89.36 Billion    Per Household   5.389 Million

Top 5%  82,910    Net Worth=38% of 595.7 billion    =226.37 billion      Per Household  2.730 Million

Top 10%  165,820  Net Worth= 53.8% of 595.7 billion =320.49 billion   Per Household    1.933 Million

UPDATE MAY 12

TOP 10% OWN OVER HALF OF IRISH WEALTH

Irish Examiner Tuesday, May 12, 2015

By Peter O’Dwyer
Reporter

More than half of the country’s net household wealth rests in the hands of just 10% of the population, while people in less well-off sectors of society owe more than they own.

CSO research shows the top 10% of the country’s richest households own 53.8% of net wealth — defined as real and financial assets minus debt.

The top 5% of households can lay claim to almost 38% of net wealth while 15% of the wealth lies in the pockets of the richest 1%.

At the opposite end of the scale, the data paints a darker picture as the poorest 20% of households owe more than they own.

The figures illustrate the two-tier society that has developed across the country, partly as a result of government policy, according to Fr Sean Healy of Social Justice Ireland.

“These figures emphasise that it was profoundly wrong of the Government to prioritise the better-off in society in the last four budgets,” said Fr Healy. “As resources become available in Budget 2016 and beyond, priority should be given to those hit hardest during the recession — Ireland’s poorest.”

With some of the country’s richest individuals experiencing large-scale losses in the past seven or so years, the level of inequality has not risen to a major degree. However, low- and middle-income families have been badly affected.

“Some people on exorbitantly high incomes have lost out despite recent budgets favouring them and, consequently, inequality has not risen dramatically,” said Fr Healy.

“However, those already struggling to survive have been stretched even further. This was not an accident, this was the result of Government decisions.”

With the Government flagging an equal split of additional funding between spending increases and tax cuts when it announced the budget in October, a much fairer manner of distributing the benefits of recovery would be to put twice the amount into restoration of services, Fr Healy said.

Recent research by the Central Bank points to a higher level of wealth inequality in Ireland than the eurozone average. However, it is less than that in the US.

Research indicates that countries with higher economic inequality suffer from greater unemployment, social instability, and reduced investment, although other academics dispute these effects.

Although open to a degree of statistical error due to the challenges in accessing relevant data, the Irish wealth gap appears to have widened over time, according to Tom Healy, a director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute.

Since the 1980s, a range of factors, including taxation policy, changing demographics, and house price fluctuations may have driven the changes.

Research carried out by Brian Nolan of the ESRI in 1987 showed that the top 10% of the population then owned 42% of net household wealth as opposed to 53% in current times. The top 1% then owned 10% of net wealth. This has now risen to 15%

Mr Healy said wealth distribution has not tended to feature in public discourse here to the same degree as in some other European countries.

“While comprehensive data are hard to come by, Thomas Piketty in his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, managed to track the main trends and composition of wealth in a number of large countries such as Britain, France, and Germany,” Mr Healy said.

“Here in Ireland, discussion of wealth has been an under-researched and under-reported area until comparatively recent times.”

Mr Piketty’s best-selling book put the distribution of income and wealth back in the public consciousness last year.

Update April 29

Political Promises In Spring Statement As Government  Allows  Super-Rich To Make Huge Gains While It Crucifies The Poor  With Austerity And Water Charges

Deputy Seamus Healy TD (Tipperary) Speaking in Dáil yesterday

This Spring Statement is effectively an election manifesto of sorts with the bulk of the promises made to be implemented after the next general election. It is a series of political promises but we know well what happens to political promises. They are made to be broken, according to the former Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Rabbitte, who said that is what politicians do at election time – they make promises they fully intend to break after the election. That is what happened in 2011 and this Government cannot be trusted or believed. What we have heard today in this Spring Statement is effectively pie in the sky.

It is important to note what this Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition promised in 2011 and what it did with its promises and commitments. We heard a lot about a democratic revolution but we hear very little about it nowadays. Fine Gael told us that it would burn the bondholders and that not another cent would be given to the banks. The Labour Party went even further and said that it would be Labour’s way and not Frankfurt’s way. Its infamous Tesco-style advertisements promised no cuts to child benefit, opposition to domestic water charges and so forth. It contained very specific promises and lines such as “Look what Fine Gael have in store for you” and “Fine Gael – Every Little Hurts”. The Labour Party in government went on to cut child benefit, with a loss of up to €1,500 for many families. A Labour Party Minister is now implementing the introduction of domestic water charges, having gone around north Tipperary in the last election campaign asking people to vote for him to ensure that Fine Gael could not introduce such charges. We were also told that the Labour Party would protect the vulnerable, a point to which I will return later.

This Fine Gael-Labour Party Government continued the austerity of the Fianna Fáil-Green Party Government and did exactly the opposite to what it had promised. Government policy in the past four years has deliberately increased the income and assets of the super rich in society. It ensured that austerity affected only low and middle income families while there was a recovery for the wealthy and the super rich. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, spoke about sharing the fruits of economic growth. He said that a functioning society is a fair one, where the fruits of economic growth are shared among all of the people, which demonstrates both dishonesty and hypocrisy. We know for a fact, as referred to by other speakers, that very wealthy people have increased their income and assets hugely during the course of this recession. An article in the Sunday Times last weekend pointed out that Ireland’s super wealthy now have a combined wealth that surpasses the heights reached at the peak of the Celtic tiger era. Ireland’s 250 richest people have increased their wealth by more than 15% in the past year to €75 billion, equivalent to 30% of Irish GDP. The number of Irish billionaires has increased from nine last year to 13 this year. There have been huge increases in the financial assets of the super rich as confirmed by the Central Statistics Office. The increase in assets from the time of the bust in 2008 to 2013 was €93 billion or an increase of 51% of GDP and there have been further increases since then. The situation is exactly the same with regard to income.

A very small proportion of very wealthy people have huge incomes. The 10,000 wealthiest have average incomes of €595,000 per year, a figure supplied to me by the Minister, Deputy Noonan. That wealth situation was confirmed about a month ago by the Sunday Independent rich list of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland. Those 300 people have €84 billion between them. So the super-rich have done very well out of this recession while ordinary people have paid for it which they had no hand, act or part in creating.

On the other hand, it is instructive to look at what has happened to ordinary low and middle-income families. A recent Central Statistics Office report, the SILC report, shows that 400,000 children are living in households experiencing multiple forms of deprivation, of whom 135,000 are suffering daily material deprivation. The number of children living in consistent poverty has doubled from 6% to almost 12%.

The Labour Party claimed it would protect the vulnerable and particularly social welfare recipients. What is the record of the Labour Party and the Tánaiste in social welfare? She protected the social welfare recipients and low and middle-income families but I am afraid the cuts she introduced in recent budgets have devastated ordinary people and undermined the social welfare system.

It is important to mention some of those cuts, which I call the dirty baker’s dozen cuts: child benefit was cut by up to €1,500 per annum per family; cuts to the back-to-school allowance; cuts to maternity benefit; cuts to the fuel allowance; abolition of the telephone allowance; cuts to the household benefits package; cuts to jobseeker’s allowance; new qualifications for State pensions particularly affecting women who are out of the workforce to rear their families; the carer’s respite grant was cut by €325; farm assist payments cut; back-to-education allowance cut; exceptional needs payment cut; increase in eligibility for State pensions; taxation of maternity benefit; abolition of illness benefit for widows and lone parents who work; huge cuts, of course, to one-parent families with another huge cut coming on 2 July; cuts to rent allowance; and abolition, unbelievably, of the very small bereavement grant.

The so-called recovery is a recovery for those who are already wealthy and it certainly means continued austerity for low and middle-income families. The public does not trust or believe the Government. They know that what the Government says does not transfer into action. They know that middle and low-income families have been crucified by the Government. They want to see the Government going to the country and calling a general election. The Government has absolutely no mandate for what it has done. The public believe that it simply cannot be trusted. This Spring Statement is simply an election manifesto of sorts, one that the public will not believe and one that should be put to the country sooner rather than later.

Update April 17     HUGE RISE IN ASSETS OF SUPER-RICH CONFIRMED BY CSO

As usual this aspect of the CSO release was ignored by media

Increase in Financial Assets from the 2008 (“Bust”) to 2013 was 93 billion or an increase 51% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) . There has been further annual increases since then.

These Assets have more than doubled. There is no wealth tax on these massive gains.

In 2013 Net Financial Assets of Households were 26 Billion Euro above 2006 “boom” level. The super-rich are now richer than they were at the height of the boom

Between 2011 and 2013 NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF HOUSEHOLDS INCREASED BY OVER 40 Billion EURO

Only 17 billion of this was due to paying down debt giving a rise of 23 billion due to appreciation of financial assets in the two years concerned.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014 at constant (2012) prices is 181.33 Billion Euro-Central Statistics Office(CSO)

As financial assets of many households are negative due to mortgage, credit card and loan debt, it is a reasonable assumption that the net financial assets of the wealthiest 5% are comparable to the net financial assets of all households at 165 Billion Euro

Central Statistics Office(CSO)   April 15,2015      Institutional Sector Accounts  Table 5B

http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-isanff/institutionalsectoraccountsnon-financialandfinancial2013/financialaccounts/table5bfinancialbalancesheetend-years2009-2013consolidatedliabilities/#.VTDYutzF-QE

Financial assets include shares, bank deposits and insurance policies on the positive side. Liabilities, which are deducted to get net financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt and bank loans to households (eg car loans)

Financial assets do not include any fixed assets such as homes, buy-to-lets, farms, land, business premises or factories and workshops.

As there has been major appreciation of property values as well as financial assets , the increase in the overall net wealth of the super-rich since 2008 is far greater than indicated by the financial figures below

Financial  Assets Households(millions)    TA=total assets         TL=total liabilities        NA=Net Assets

TA                     TL                    NA

2006           310,899          172,052                   138,848          

2007            310,711          199,036                   111,675

2008           281,650           209,774                     71,876

2009         306,338              207,272                     99,066

2010         316,375               194,250                   122,125

2011         315,028               190,056                    124,972

2012         333,654                179,554                    154,100

2013         342,735                177,805                     164,930

2014        348,092                   168,716                      179,376

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Irish Rich Get New 25 Billion Bonanza as 135,000 Children Suffer Multiple Deprivation!

The Contrast Could Not Be More Stark!!!!!

In 2013 Net Financial Assets of Households were 26 Billion Euro above 2006 “boom” level and more than double 2008 “bust” level. Gross Financial Assets were 18 billion above the 2006 peak level.

In 2013, net financial assets of households rose again by  25 billion, only 7 billion of which was due to paying down debt.

The Gains For the Rich got virtually no media coverage as usual

These are the most recent statistics issued by  The Central Statistics Office (CSO).In another recent release by the CSO, the SILC Report, it is shown that we now have 400,000 children living in households experiencing multiple forms of deprivation and 135,000 children are suffering daily material deprivation. The number of children living in consistent poverty – meaning they are living both at risk of poverty and experiencing deprivation – doubled from 6 per cent to just under 12 per cent between 2008 and 2013

Financial assets include shares, bank deposits and insurance policies on the positive side. Liabilities, which are deducted to get net financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt and bank loans to households (eg car loans)

Financial assets do not include any fixed assets such as homes, buy-to-lets, farms, land, business premises or factories and workshops.

Total F. assets     Total Liabilities        NET F. Assets

2006           310,899          172,052                   138,848          

2007            310,711          199,036                   111,675

2008           281,650           209,774                     71,876

2009           304,885           206,620                      98,264

2010            311,372           194,219                       117,153  

2011              310,093        189,982                        120,111 

2012               324,381          184,467                        139,914

2013                   342,735       177,805                        164,930

Nov 30

Anglo Bondholder List Leaked

International Financial Institutions Which invested in Anglo and to whom an Irish Government Paid Out 30 Billion Euro. We are now paying off the money borrowed for this purpose to other international financial institutions!

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/list-of-bondholders-in-anglo-irish-bank-leaked-110903209-237728261.html#=

UPDATE  Department of Finance Confirms Budget 2015 “Give-Away” to Rich

Department of Finance Press Officer Confirms that those on incomes over 100,000 Euro will gain a net 747 Eur per year from the combination of the tax and USC measures in Budget 2015

Sir, – The editorial “Taxing the self-employed” (October 24th) stated that the divide between PAYE workers and self-assessed workers has “widened further with the Government’s decision to make the self-employed pay an 11 per cent rate of universal social charge on earnings over €100,000”. To suggest the divide has widened as a result of changes introduced in Budget 2015 is simply not true.

The marginal tax rate for the self-employed earning over €100,000 has not altered with the changes introduced in Budget 2015. In 2014 self-assessed workers earning over €100,000 face a 55 per cent marginal tax rate comprised of 41 per cent income tax, 10 per cent USC and 4 per cent PRSI. Following the introduction of the measures introduced in Budget 2015, a self-assessed worker earning over €100,000 will continue to pay 55 per cent tax; however it will now be comprised of 40 per cent income tax, 11 per cent USC and 4 per cent PRSI.

These changes to rates will result in an increase in net income for the self-employed taxpayers at all income levels.

The factual position is that a single PAYE worker and a single self-assessed worker earning €100,000 will see an increase of €747 in their net income in 2015, as a result of the Budget 2015 changes. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN LOUGHNANE,

Press Officer,

Department of Finance,

Dublin 2.

UPDATE        Ireland More Prosperous than France and Germany!!    Irish Examiner Nov 3

“It might sound like a contradiction, but austerity hasn’t ruined our prosperity, according to a global study.

A report by the influential Legatum Institute places Ireland 12th out of 142 countries in its annual prosperity index, published today. That maintains the position we held last year and may signal an end to the slide that has seen us drop from a high of ninth in 2009. It also puts us one place ahead of Britain, and, somewhat surprisingly, two places ahead of Germany, while France could only manage 21st, Spain 26th and Italy 37th.

Norway makes the number one slot for the sixth year in a row. The index does not measure economic performance alone, but assesses countries on 90 indicators which are then collated under eight headings.”

August 30,2014

Because of the publicity given to bankruptcies of very rich Irish people, it maybe inferred that the Irish  rich generally are doing very badly. But it must be remembered that for every developer who bought over-priced sites and assets, there was another person or persons who has the large sum of money paid by the developer.

Many people also wrongly believe that Ireland has become a very poor country due to the banking crash. This may lead them to excuse cuts by government in spending on  health, education and other public services.

BUT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!

“Ireland is still one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Gross Domestic Product (total of all goods and services produced) per head of population in Republic of Ireland is greater than that in Germany, France and the UK”  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

Irish Examiner Sept 16

The growing number of poor people in crisis-hit countries and among young people threatens the existence of the EU, warned the prestigious German think-tank which carried out the study.

Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.

Irish Times Sept 16

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/ireland-urged-to-do-more-for-its-vulnerable-population-1.1929914

“Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation ranked Ireland 18th among the EU 28 members, below Poland and Slovakia, in a survey of social justice in Europe.

“The foundation cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. “Ireland has a similarly high GDP per capita,similar to Sweden, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and counts as one of the biggest losers in the country comparison,” the report noted.” (Irish Times)

It is true that public finances are in an appalling state.

But this is because:

1)successive governments have refused to impose sufficiently high taxes on the incomes and assets of the super-rich Irish to pay for necessary public services

2) The current and previous government have agreed that the citizens of the state should pay the 67 Billion Euro which LARGE international investors had lent to privately owned Irish Banks when the banks crashed.(small shareholders were not rescued)

The official statistics on incomes and assets set out below show the obscene wealth of the super-rich Irish at this time. In summary, the top 10,000 income recipients have average declared incomes of 595,000 euro per year each. The financial assets (shares, bank deposits) of Irish households had already climbed back above 2006 boom levels in 2012

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro from 50 Billion to 62 Billion or a gain of 200 million euro each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

The overwhelming majority of  the  super-rich are active in the private sector of the economy. 

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

Read also UPDATE:Poorest Pay Most Tax on this Blog 

Average Per Capita Wealth

Gross Domestic Product (total of all goods and services produced) per head of population in Republic of Ireland is the 7th highest in EU-Higher than Germany, France and the UK  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

                            WEALTH OF IRISH SUPER-RICH

Financial Assets of Households      (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts Central Statistics Office 2012)

Total financial assets          Total Liabilities              NET Financial Assets

2006     310,899                  172,052                                         138,848

2007      310,711                199,036                                           111,675

2008      281,650                 209,774                                           71,876

2009      304,885               206,620                                             98,264

2010      311,372               194,219                                             117,153

2011      310,093               189,982                                             120,111

2012      324,381                 184,467                                            139,914

These figures show that net personal financial assets of all households have increased by 68 billion or by almost 100%(almost doubled since the low point of 2008 and both total financial assets and net financial assets are now above the peak 2006 level. (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts, CSO 2012)

Financial assets are mainly shares and bank deposits, the bulk of which are held by the rich. Houses, farms and business premises are not  financial assets and are not,therefore, included. The liabilities are bank loans,overdrafts, credit card debt, and household Mortgage Debt, the bulk of which are held by those on low and middle incomes

Thus the total financial asset figure is the better measure of the assets of the rich as many households have negative net financial assets.

 Average Per Capita Wealth

GDP per capita is the 7th highest in EU-Higher than Germany France and the UK  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

(This wealth is distributed most unfairly. According to Central Statistics Office (CSO) this unfairness has been worsened by the state budget for 2014- PH)

 Incomes of Irish Super-Rich 

The table below is compiled from a table issued by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan in reply to a parliamentary question on Oct 3,  2012 .  It is based on projections by the Revenue Commissioners of expected earnings and expected revenue in the current year(2012) given the distribution of incomes in 2009 and subsequent developments. NB Below Revenue=tax+PRSI+USC. Effective tax rate includes income tax, PRSI and Universal Social Charge

Income Tax 2012

Below  NO.=number of  earners; G.I.=Gross Income of all earners ;

Av. I.=Average Income per Earner, REV.=Total Revenue from all earners; E.T.R.=effective tax rate

Earners               NO.         G.I.             Av. I.         REV.     E.T.R

Top 10,000  10,000  €5,959m   €595,900  €2,321 m  39%         Average AFTER TAX INCOME 364,000
Top 1%  21,650   €8,742 m     €403,760   €3,349 m   38%       Average AFTER TAX INCOME     349,000
Top 5%  108,250  €20,122 m  €185,885   €7,145 m   36%       Average After Tax INCOME       €120,000

 

Top 10%  216,500  €29,600 m   €136,710  €9,849 m   33%    

Average after tax Income   €91,500   

  • Earners may be individuals or couples who have agreed to be taxed jointly. Revenue commissioners do not provide data for individuals only.
  •   revenue=income tax+ PRSI +Univ. Soc. Charge (effective      tax rate includes USC and PRSI)

Less than 6% of income recipients earning over 100,000  are in the public service and a large proportion of these are medical consultants

All of the top 10,000 tax payers who have  an average income of €595,900 each (Reply by Michael Noonan to parliamentary question)  are in the private sector.

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro to 62 Billion or 200 million each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

POOREST IRISH PEOPLE PAY MOST TAX!

Poor People Pay most Tax—-NERI   Aug  28, 2014

NEW research from the Nevin Economic Research Institute (funded by Irish Trade Unions) shows that the bottom 10% of the Irish Population pays the highest percentage of their income in tax whereas the richest 10% pay only 29.6% of their income when all direct and indirect taxes are taken into account.

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

More detailed discussion on this matter can be found in my post UPDATED: POOREST PEOPLE PAY MOST TAX    on this blog

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. anthony cassidy
    April 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    wow

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