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For Richer or Poorer

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Mr X quoted EU statistics (Letters, 5th June) to suggest that Ireland has become more equitable since Bertie Ahern came to power. He indicated that the gap between the incomes of the top 20% of the population and bottom 20% declined from 5.1 times to 5.0 between 1995 and 2005, an improvement of 2%.

It is a pity he did not look more closely into the figures as he would have found that EU countries improved their overall score over the same period from 5.1 to 4.8, a 6% improvement; Ireland's score improved by 12% from 5.1 in 1995 to 4.5 in 2001 and deteriorated by 11% to 5.0 over the subsequent four years; and Ireland had the tenth widest gap between rich and poor out of 28 countries in 2005.

Ireland's score would need to fall to 4 to match the equalities in most Northern Europe states. At the current rate of progress, this will take a hundred years.

Letter published in the Irish Times on 7th June 2007.

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This page contains a single entry by Brian published on April 29, 2007 11:28 AM.

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