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Posts tagged ‘OECD’

Department of Public Expenditure & Reform plays fast and loose with the facts on FOI

By Gavin Sheridan

The lead Department for FOI in Ireland, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has issued a press statement outlining its position on the late-stage amendments to the FOI Bill. Unfortunately we don’t get an explanation of why many additions came so late in the process. Indeed, we don’t get much of anything besides some bullet points.

But one bullet point in particular on the fees issue struck us as a bit nonsensical. The Department said:

– FOI fees are an accepted feature of FOI legislation in several OECD countries -international best practice standards acknowledge the principle that countries can choose to levy a contribution towards the cost of providing FOI.

Really? That’s the first we’ve heard of it. Maybe the Department is talking about the concept of fees generally, and not the concept of upfront FOI fees that Ireland specialises in? Some countries do charge for the process of searching for and retrieving information. But only Ireland, Canada and Israel charge upfront for requests.

But citing “OECD members” struck us as odd too. According to the Department’s own website the OECD recommended that Ireland abolish upfront FOI fees in a 2008 Public Management Review. The report says:

full article at source: http://thestory.ie/2013/11/11/department-of-public-expenditure-reform-plays-fast-and-loose-with-the-facts-on-foi/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thestory%2FQSEJ+%28The+Story%29


By Thomás Aengus O Cléirigh


I seem to remember that Labor promised “to restore the Freedom of Information Act so that it is as comprehensive as was originally intended. The fee structure for Freedom of Information requests will be reformed so that cost does not discourage individuals and organizations from seeking information, and the remit of the Freedom of Information and the Ombudsman Acts will be extended to the Garda Síochána,the Central Bank and other bodies significantly funded from the public purse, that are currently excluded.”

This is just another bunch of Lying Gombeen men and woman out to fill their own pockets, clock up their pension entitlements and live out their old age in pomp and leisure off the backs of the people of Ireland!

We have no democracy in Ireland we have been sold out by these puppets and traitors; we are all now debt slaves and we will have no chance of breaking free from this twiddle dumb and twiddle dee dictatorship as long as we support the gangster’s masceraiding in the Dail as our representatives. In a true democracy there is no need for “career politicians”. The current system has created an elite political class that has robbed our nation of its independence, its natural wealth and destroyed our economy with the end result of forcing the ordinary people into financial slavery while the culprits enjoy lottery pensions and big job offers in Europe as payoffs. No wonder the Freedom of Information Act is dead in the water!

OECD warns on Irish unemployment and mortgage arrears

The prestigious Paris-based economic think-tank also said it was essential that faster progress is made in tackling mortgage arrears.The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecast growth of 1pc this year in Ireland – less than the 1.3pc projected by the Department of Finance.In its latest report on the global economic outlook, the OECD said Ireland must stick with its austerity budgets if it is to successfully exit the bailout.“Financial market confidence has improved but the bank lending environment for firms and households remains adverse,” the OECD report said “It is essential to make faster progress in dealing with non-performing loans.“Decisive labour-market reforms are also needed to address the prospect of persistent high long-term unemployment, especially among young people, in particular by putting more resources into activation measures and better aligning skills with employers’ needs.”

The Paris body said GDP will be 1pc this year and 1.9pc in 2014. Unemployment will be 14.3pc and fall to 14.1pc next year.

It said that unemployment would decline only slowly, reflecting in part “persistent skill mismatches”.

Global GDP is expected to increase 3.1pc this year and by 4pc in 2014, the report said.

Across OECD countries, GDP is projected to rise by 1.2pc this year and by 2.3pc in 2014, while growth in non-OECD countries will rise by 5.5pc this year and 6.2pc in 2014…

full article at source: http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/oecd-warns-on-irish-unemployment-and-mortgage-arrears-29305917.html


Can Ireland improve its competitiveness while raising taxes?

By Ronan Lyons

if you were looking for just two indicators to summarize how Ireland’s economic model of the 1990s, based on international competitiveness and fiscal rectitude, became perverted in the 2000s, the following two would be the ones that I would use. Firstly, according to OECD figures, the average wage in Ireland grew by 37% between 2000 and 2006, while in France and Germany, the anchors of the Eurozone, average wages grew by 15% during the same period. Secondly, while the typical two-income, two-child household in France paid over a steady 22% of their income in tax during the 2000s, and their German counterpart paid one third in tax, by 2006 their Irish counterpart was paying barely 10% in tax.

full article at source:http://www.ronanlyons.com/2011/11/01/can-ireland-improve-its-competitiveness-while-raising-taxes/

OECD says unemployment payments should be reduced


OECD proposal on unemployment payments is preposterous and perverse Social Justice Ireland has strongly criticised a proposal from the OECD that unemployment payments should be reduced over time to encourage unemployed people to take up employment. The vast majority of unemployed people would take up any job that was available. Just a few years ago the long-term unemployment rate in Ireland was one of the lowest in the world at 1.3%. Many people became unemployed because of the collapse in the economy. The greatest devastation of this recession is being borne by those who have lost their jobs. There is no evidence to suggest these people would not take up a job if it were available. Blaming unemployed people for the failures in the economy and the inability to produce jobs is perverse in the extreme. Social Justice Ireland wishes to point out that: • Two thirds of a million people in Ireland are at risk of poverty. • At least 90,000 of those employed in Ireland are at risk of poverty. These are the ‘working poor’. • Social welfare payments for unemployed people are €34 a week below the poverty line for a single person and €56 a week for a couple over 25 years of age. • Social welfare payments for unemployed people below 25 years of age are up to €122 a week for a single person and €168 a week for a couple belo! w the poverty line. The proposal by the OECD that unemployment payments should be reduced further shows the OECD is totally out of touch with the reality of the lives of people who are unemployed and are ignoring the fact that they are unemployed because a sufficient number of jobs don’t exist in the economy. The claim that everybody should make a contribution to the adjustment required in Ireland at present has been repeated like a mantra in policy discussion and public commentary. Yet it is only half true. Yes, Social Justice Ireland agrees everyone should make a contribution insofar as they can. But we do not accept that some people should be driven into poverty because of the contribution that is demanded of them. To do this is to try to solve one problem by creating a deeper and more long-lasting one. “We reject any attempt to solve Ireland’s problems by increasing inequality or by forcing the most vulnerable members of the popu! lation into a situation where they do not have the resources to live life with dignity” according to Fr Healy. ‘Hits’ on poor people and the low-paid have far bigger negative impact than larger hits on the better off who have resources to absorb the hits. It is profoundly wrong for example that poor people carry a major burden while senior bond-holders, who carry a large part of the responsibility for Ireland’s implosion, make no contribution to sharing the burden.

PDF doc here :Irish Society at a glance

The OECD has warned that that unemployment in Ireland is becoming an “intractable” problem.

In its economic outlook for 2012 published today the organisation however said it is cautiously optimistic about the country’s prospects for economic recovery.

“Ireland is continuing to undertake a comprehensive and vital adjustment programme to reduce its macroeconomic imbalances and restore its banking system to health,” the report said.

“Despite robust export growth, weak domestic demand and ongoing fiscal consolidation have prevented an economic recovery from unfolding so far.

“As domestic demand stabilises, a modest upturn of output is expected in the course of 2011, with some acceleration in 2012.

“The unemployment rate is likely to stay high, and core deflation to continue.”

The report’s authors said recovery this year will be gradual, and speed up in 2012.

The OECD said Ireland must adhere to the adjustment programme laid down by the EU and IMF and in particular lowering our budget deficit to below 3% of GDP by 2015.

“Improving competitiveness through wage restraint and structural reforms should remain a priority,” the report said.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said jobs are the Government’s top priority.

However Social Justice Ireland has strongly criticised a proposal from the OECD that unemployment payments should be reduced over time to encourage unemployed people to take up employment.

“The vast majority of unemployed people would take up any job that was available” according to Fr Seán Healy, the organisations’ director.

“Blaming unemployed people for the failures in the economy and the inability to produce jobs is perverse in the extreme”..

Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/oecd-cautiously-optimistic-but-warns-on-unemployment-506381.html#ixzz1NNH1CQxs

Food for Thought!



A COMMON misconception about the AIB has certainly been more reckless than its long-time rival when it comes to developers but it remains to be seen how much businesses and home buyers will actually repay.
National Asset Management Agency is that it is taking on all the bad loans from the country’s banks. In fact, the taxpayer is assuming responsibility for less than a quarter of the banks’ enormous debt burden.

NAMA is taking loans from 1,000 large and medium-sized developers which means that it will own a cornucopia of fields, half-built office blocks, fully-built hotels and blocks of flats.


NAMA won’t be taking control of the much larger number of loans used by companies to invest in equipment and factories, or the money borrowed by individuals to buy houses, cars and other consumer durables.

NAMA plans to take ownership of loans with a total value of €80bn while the combined value of the five NAMA banks’ loan book is €362bn.

This means the bank loans that will pass into NAMA are somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of all the money currently lent out by those five banks and building society.

Some analysts and outside organisations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, are concerned about the debt that remains on the banks’ books.

While Allied Irish Banks appears in a much worse situation this week than rival Bank of Ireland, the fact remains that both banks have loan books of roughly equal magnitude, or €131bn each.


full story link http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/nama-may-only-be-part-of-the-solution-to-main-banks-huge-loan-book-debts-2120348.html

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