May 14, 2021
ESRI report misses the point on growing economic inequality – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD has said the ESRI report on income inequality misses the point on the broader issue of growing social and economic inequality.
 
Teahcta O’Reilly said:
 
“Today’s report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on income inequality makes for interesting reading.
 
“Using income alone to measure inequality is not only wrong, but it doesn’t incorporate the broader issues of economic inequality such as cost of healthcare, childcare, housing, and others.
 
“It is also interesting that the report used 1987 as its starting point, the second worst year ever recorded for unemployment since records began.
 
“If people in Ireland are so much better off now, as this report is being used by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to suggest, then how come home ownership is at its lowest levels, how come childcare is amongst the most expensive in the EU, and how come there are hundreds of thousands of people waiting for basic healthcare?
 
“Given those facts how can anyone argue that economic inequality in Ireland has fallen and keep a straight face.
 
“It is not good enough to assess economic inequality through looking at income alone, as Unite The Union highlighted in their February paper ‘Hungry Bellies are not Equal to Full Bellies’, you need to look much further, and include wealth disparity, the cost living, the cost childcare, the cost of healthcare, the cost of housing, and others, and when this is done, it is clear that economic inequality and deprivation are a serious problem in this state.
 
“Young people will now be the first generation who are worse off than their parents. This is the legacy of 30 years of economic illiteracy and ineptitude by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
 
“If Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and The Green Party think that economic inequality is not a problem that needs solutions, then the public will give them the answer at the next election.”

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