7 Sep 2018, 17.13

Researchers from the Economic and Social Research Institute will detail a new study Wednesday on how Irish women and men experience Government spending and tax changes in different ways.

The Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight has invited ESRI researchers to discuss how the think tank’s tax benefits model – SWITCH, short for Simulating Welfare and Income Tax Changes – calculates the impact of potential Budget 2019 changes on specific categories of women.

The ESRI is expected to present findings which suggest that social welfare cuts in previous budgets have disproportionately affected women, particularly single mothers on low incomes.

ESRI witnesses are expected to begin their presentation after 3 p.m. Wednesday in Committee Room 2 of Leinster House.

The meeting can be viewed live here and on Android and Apple devices using the Houses of the Oireachtas app.

The ESRI’s scheduled witnesses are:

  • Tax, Welfare and Pensions Programme Coordinator Claire Keane
  • Senior Research Officer Barra Roantree

ESRI analysts developed SWITCH in the mid-1990s to use pooled data from the CSO’s annual Survey on Income and Living Conditions to make detailed forecasts on the impact of changes in taxation and welfare benefits on specific cohorts of people.

“As the Committee prepares to publish its Pre-Budget Report, members are focused on identifying ways that Budget 2019 can produce gender-positive results which promote equality of treatment and opportunity for women,” said Committee Chairman Colm Brophy.

“The ESRI’s SWITCH team since 2014 has piloted new ways to simulate how a raft of tax and benefit changes might alter the gender economics of Ireland. Members will be interested to learn of the ESRI’s findings,” Deputy Brophy said. “We hope they contribute to the Committee’s policy recommendations for Budget 2019 alongside our existing call for the Government to deliver an Equality Budget Statement in October.”

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Solidarity - People Before Profit

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