All the evidence tells us that the current very high levels of inequality in Ireland, matter economically, socially, democratically and environmentally.
- Economically, there is increasing evidence that inequality is a prime cause of and impediment to recovery from economic recessions.
Socially, the work of Wilkinson and Pickett among others has demonstrated how inequality leads to a whole series of social and health problems.
Democratically, the dramatic growth of pay and wealth of those at the top has created an economic elite which has the capacity to exert enormous and corrosive political influence.
Environmentally, extreme wealth and inequality is destructive with the evidence showing that equality and sustainable growth are mutually reinforcing.
The Economic Equality Group is leading COF’s work on developing an initiative to reduce inequality.
We are a small working group. If you want to come to one of our meetings please contact Nina at [email protected].
We think that now, is the critical time to build popular support for reducing inequality.
There is evidence that there is the beginning of a rethink amongst mainstream economic institutions and political leaders, prompted in part by popular anger. There is also growing civic interest in this issue with many groups in many different countries, gathering evidence and campaigning in different ways for fundamental change.
To reduce income/wealth inequality, it is essential to find ways to effectively limit high incomes and the amount of wealth that any one individual/company can accumulate. While redistributive policies, primarily progressive taxation, will continue to be an important policy response, and one on which COF is actively campaigning, recent research indicates that these are not sufficient. Cutting high income and wealth at source is also essential.