Saturday 3 December 2016

In rent, employment and retraining, there is no such thing as certainty

Published 05/11/2015 | 02:30

Tánaiste Joan Burton and Labour minister Ged Nash at the Forum for a Living Wage in Dublin Castle recently. The Government report on ‘The prevalence of zero-hour contracts’ should mainly have been looking for unscrupulous employers who break the rules and put workers on outlawed contracts
Tánaiste Joan Burton and Labour minister Ged Nash at the Forum for a Living Wage in Dublin Castle recently. The Government report on ‘The prevalence of zero-hour contracts’ should mainly have been looking for unscrupulous employers who break the rules and put workers on outlawed contracts

Rent certainty, wage certainty and retraining certainty. All have been in the news over the past couple of days. All have become political and ideological footballs, to a greater or lesser extent.

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But evidence and fact have received less attention than they might in discussions and debates. Spin and populist posturing have been more in evidence than they should.

Permit me to start with an observation that links all three issues. When discussing the role of the State and the role of markets in such things as housing, wage-setting and improving employment outcomes, there tends to be a polarisation of views.

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