8 June 2006 Edition
Economy: No sign of funding for badly needed services
Jobs growth continues
The 26-County economy is still in a period of sustained growth as new figures on employment and tax returns recorded 17,500 new jobs and a 16.7% rise in tax revenues in the 26-Counties over the first three months of 2006. However the economic data released by the Central Statistics Office and the Department of Finance showed also an economy increasingly dependent on economic growth patterns that might not last in the long term.
Total employment in the 26 Counties reached 1,998,100 people, 89,800 new jobs were created in the 12 months to end of March 2006. 20,700 were in construction, 18,500 in wholesale and retail with another 16,300 in the financial and other business sector while manufacturing and related industries fell by 12,300. Compared to the rest of the EU, employment growth here is running at 5.1% in contrast to 1.6% growth across the 25 EU states.
Tax revenue is also surging with the latest exchequer returns showing a government revenue surplus of €1.841 billion, a huge €878 million more than expected. The significant growth sectors are stamp duty, capital gains and corporation tax with VAT surging also. For example revenue from stamp duty, the tax we pay when buying a house is up over 38%, VAT rose by nearly 13%, while income tax receipts grew by only 9.6%, which considering the growth in employment shows again that a lot of the new employment opportunities are in the low wage sectors.
Finally with such a need for extra spending on health, education and other sectors there is still, despite these growing revenues, no sign of the government opening the coffers and spending the money Irish workers have paid in taxes on the services we actually need.
26-County economic data
- 17,500 new jobs created in the first 3 months of 2006
- 1,998,100 numbers now at work in 26 Counties
- €1.841 billion current government surplus
- €878 million unexpected surplus
- 38% stamp duty growth
- 13% VAT growth
- 9.6% income tax growth.