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GDP versus GNP

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So, having used GDP as a key economic index throughout the boom, the ESRI appears to have switched to GNP because multinational profits are faltering.

Does that mean that, to be consistent, we should also use Debt/GNP (currently 151%) rather than Debt/GDP (124%)  as a key index and do we start measuring per capita prosperity using GNP (€29,600) rather than GDP (€36,900) ?

Letter published in the Irish Times on 19th December 2013.

Lies, Lies and Statistics

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Respondents to the Ipsos MRBI poll (30th November) suggested that a person would need to have an income of €153,000 a year to be in the top 10 percent of the population whereas graphics in your paper suggested that, based on Revenue data, the correct figure is €75,000. 

You are both wrong as the Revenue statistics relate to tax cases which treat dual-income married couples as single cases. If we assume that incomes in these cases are split 66/34 then only about 6 percent of the population have incomes in excess of €75,000. Incidently, on the same basis, almost 16 percent have incomes below €10,000 a year.

In responding to the question as to whether welfare recipients, public servants or politicians receive most from the public purse, respondents guessed politicians whereas your graphics indicate that the correct answer is welfare recipients at €20 billion as compared with only €102 million for politicians. On a per capita basis, the respondents were absolutely correct.

Letter published in the Irish Times on 3rd December 2913.

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