February 25, 2021
Unite paper on economic inequality makes for sobering reading – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has welcomed the publication of a research paper by the Unite Trade Union, Hungry Bellies are not Equal to Full Bellies, which explores inequality and deprivation in Ireland.

Speaking today, Teachta O’Reilly said that while the paper made for sobering reading, it was also an important piece of work that laid out the facts and tackled some misleading claims which had been allowed to surface recently.

Teahcta O’Reilly said:

“The research paper by the Unite Trade Union was a thoroughly researched piece, and while it made for sobering reading, it is an important piece of work which explores the facts behind inequality and deprivation in Ireland.

“Indeed, it was also important in that it corrected some misleading claims around inequality and deprivation, which had been allowed to surface recently.

“The paper assessed economic inequality in a holistic way and incorporated aspects of economic inequality, which some politicians, economists, and journalists conveniently ignore when discussing inequality and deprivation in Ireland.

“Looking at income, wealth, access to public services, taxation, family composition, capacities and the cost of goods and services, the paper gives a rounded reflection of the true nature of inequality in this state.

“The Unite paper comes on the back of a recent Economic Letter published by the former Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, where he too eviscerated the inappropriate use of misleading statistics to measure the Irish economy.

“Professor Honohan outlined through his research that the “prosperity” of the Irish economy ranks somewhere between eighth and 12th in the European Union, closer to Italy than the more prosperous Nordic States.

“The information in the Unite paper and in Honohan’s letter seems to be lost when it comes to conversations regarding economic inequality and the ‘prosperity’ of this state.

“I would hope that the paper is read by all public representatives so it can facilitate an honest conversation around the true nature of inequality and deprivation in this state, and how it can be addressed.”

The Unite report Hungry Bellies are not Equal to Full Bellies: Exploring inequality and deprivation in Ireland can be read here.

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