Thursday, November 25, 2010

Equally Poor

A year ago, commenting on the CSO's Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2008 report and looking ahead to SILC 2009, I predicted that:
We've had deepening deflation since the start of this year, coupled with falling nominal wages and salaries for many. So don't be surprised to see less 'poverty', a lot more equality and an even narrower income differential between the employed and unemployed (and also between the employed and the retired: a ratio of 77% in the case of the latter in 2008).
Well, here we are a year later and the SILC 2009 report has been published. And the main findings are that:

Inequality has declined further in Ireland:



The poverty rate has declined further:


The income differential did not narrow further for the unemployed, but it did for pensioners (now at 82% of those in employment on an equivalent basis):



So there you are: less inequality, less poverty and narrower income differentials for pensioners. All thanks to the recession. But that's what happens when you insist on defining poverty in relative terms: for when the 'relatives' lose their jobs (and their wealth) then we all move a little closer to the Left's dream of equality. Equal poverty, that is.

Something tells me that we'll be moving at an even faster pace over the next few years...

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