Thursday 23 February 2017

Tackling inequality must be at the heart of Budget, not tax cuts for the voting classes

There are huge differences in the numbers attending third level depending on what part of Dublin they are from
There are huge differences in the numbers attending third level depending on what part of Dublin they are from

My son asked me a very simple question a few days ago. His question was insightful, direct, and immediately followed by a request for sweets. (Which he got). He asked me: "Dad, why are some people richer than us, and why are some people poorer than us?"

Since the work of Thomas Piketty, and before him Joseph Stiglitz's 'The Price of Inequality' and Branko Milanovic's 'History of Global Inequality', inequality has become the topic du jour in economics and in policy, and this has stimulated a huge amount of research in the area. Inequality should be at the heart of the next Budget, when the tax rates are flagged to fall for the voting middle classes.

Here's how I answered my son, who is eight and enjoys pretty much anything with chocolate on it.

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