Ireland's only serious political magazine Tuesday - Oct 21, 2014
Penalising  lone-parent employees

Penalising lone-parent employees

By Caroline Fahy. In July 2014, over 5,000 recipients of the One Parent Family Payment (OFP) lost the payment. This was as a result of the decision announced in Budget 2012 to restrict eligibility for the OFP to those parenting alone whose youngest child is aged seven or under. Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton


As the European Commission decides against Bus Eireann we reprint Tim Doyle’s 2013 article explaining how the school bus system is anti-competitive.

As the European Commission decides against Bus Eireann we reprint Tim Doyle’s 2013 article explaining how the school bus system is anti-competitive.

Bus–iness as usual   In 1967 the Department of Education initiated free transport for post-primary schoolchildren. It was a progressive initiative thought up by the Minister, Donogh O’Malley, requiring that €1.2 million be paid to CIE for the first year to perform “matters of a purely transport nature”. CIE exacted a profit of 4% on

History shows policy changes inequality.

History shows policy changes inequality.

By Kevin Buckley. Thomas Piketty and his colleagues at the World Top Incomes Database (WTID) have revolutionised the study of income equality through their clever harvesting of data from historical tax receipts and national budget records. Their data can be used to study how the proportion of national income collected by the very wealthiest people


Wicklow Council Consultant sought tender for clean-up of illegal waste. By Frank Connolly.

Wicklow Council Consultant sought tender for clean-up of illegal waste. By Frank Connolly.

  The multi-million-Eurp scandal surrounding the illegal dumping of waste in county Wicklow is another legacy left to the new environment minister, Alan Kelly, by his predecessor, Phil Hogan and another reason why the latter’s proposed elevation to the post of European Commissioner has been questioned. In October last, Nessa Childers, MEP wrote a letter

Whither Heather?

Whither Heather?

By Frank Connolly. Disgraced former judge, Heather Perrin, may have done her time but some of those whose wills she administered are still awaiting justice. The remaining sibling of Bridget and Frank Murray who lived in Fairview and whose wills were drawn up by Perrin, who unusually had been a solicitor not a barrister, has


Tax cuts in low-tax Ireland won’t benefit the needy

Tax cuts in low-tax Ireland won’t benefit the needy

By Sinead Pentony. Preparations for Budget 2015 are under way. As with previous budgets, the Government has choices it can make in meeting the requirement to reduce the deficit in the public finances to less than 3% of GDP in 2015. Unfortunately, there are no such self-imposed or externally imposed requirements to reduce inequality and

Interview with Paul Murphy (before EP election).

Interview with Paul Murphy (before EP election).

By Michael Smith Paul Murphy is 31 but perfectly formed, a model of good humour, principle and intelligence. He grew up in Dublin’s Goatstown,his father worked for Mars and his uncle is newsreader, Michael Murphy. He went to St Kilian’s, a German school in Clonskeagh, where he became politicised by international events like the battle


Aarhus: State drags feet on legal costs in environmental cases.

Aarhus: State drags feet on legal costs in environmental cases.

By Kieran Fitzpatrick. The Aarhus Convention aims to protect the environment and proclaims the public to be the best guardian of the environment. There are three strands to the convention: 1) Access to information; 2)Public participation; and 3) Access to justice to review environment-related decisions or to enforce environmental law. Ireland was the last member

Imprison fewer women.

Imprison fewer women.

By Ivana Bacik. Women are a tiny minority in prisons and a particularly marginalised and vulnerable group. On average, only about 3-4% of those in prison are women. While prison numbers in Ireland generally have stabilised and even reduced in recent years, there have been increasing numbers of women committed to prison. There was an


Picking at Piketty.

Picking at Piketty.

By Constantin Gurdgiev. Thomas Piketty’s ‘Capital in the Twenty First Century’ (Harvard University Press, 2014) has ignited both public and professional debates about the economics of income and wealth distribution not seen since the inter-war period a century ago, when applied Marxism collided with laissez-faire economics. To give the credit due to the author and his

Dodgy Donegal’s ex-Manager sues Village editor.

Dodgy Donegal’s ex-Manager sues Village editor.

By Michael Smith. Michael McLoone, former County Manager in Donegal is suing me. He wants damages, punitive damages, aggravated damages and an order prohibiting the further publication of unspecified statements the subject of the proceedings. We’re not worried. The proceedings relate to material the substance of which is privileged because it refers to affidavits opened


Dáil and its legal reform bill still pro-lawyer.

Dáil and its legal reform bill still pro-lawyer.

By David Reynolds. The circumstances of the demise of former Minister for Justice, Alan  Shatter, diverted attention from the risk of the thwarting of his reforms of the legal profession. Infamously many ministers, and their – often informal – advisers, are lawyers. Indicative of the problem is that at the last reading of the proposed


Autumn ’15 tsunami for coalition.

Autumn ’15 tsunami for coalition.

By John Gormley. In May of 2013 I predicted in this column that Eamon Gilmore would step down as Labour leader before the General Election to be replaced by Joan Burton.  So now that it has all come to pass, as though perfectly scripted, can I apply my soothsayer’s powers again? I’ll give it a

Upwardly mobile mobile.

Upwardly mobile mobile.

By Ronan Lynch. One of the best in-jokes among editors this year is that “desktop is the new print”. Four years ago, news websites had zero visitors arriving via mobile devices. This year, the Financial Times noted that almost two out of three visitors to its website came via mobile devices, and news websites expect


Ethics not ‘immutable economics’ should drive housing policy.

Ethics not ‘immutable economics’ should drive housing policy.

By Padraic Kenna. Housing in Ireland raises ethical issues, though for historical reasons we tend to see them almost  exclusively as practical (or ‘economic’) ones. There is no other broad area of Irish society where public trust in institutions has been more corroded. Housing has been central to the collapse in Ireland’s State and personal