Turning The Tide

12 October, 2009

SaplingPresident Hu Jintao of China was lauded at the UN climate change summit last week for his bold plans to counter global warming, reports China Daily. His remarks represent a turn-around in China’s attitude and policy.

It is all very reminiscent of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which banned the international trade of slaves in the British Empire. For fear of becoming economically uncompetitive, the British went on to tirelessly campaign against the practice elsewhere.

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Are Far Away Elections Really Greener?

9 October, 2009

Alarm ClockTomorrow, the Green Party will hold a vote to determine whether to continue in government with Fianna Fáil, and whether to support NAMA. Ciarán Cuffe TD describes it as ‘the eleventh hour’.

The Green Party have probably waited too long to ditch Fianna Fáil. Instead, they chose to watch as NAMA threatened to saddle this nation with years of huge debt. Instead, they chose to watch government expenditure insufficiently contract to deal with the tax revenue crisis.

Tomorrow’s vote might provide them with one last opportunity to rescue themselves from the fate of the Progressive Democrats.

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The ‘Sticky Tax’ Phenomenon

22 May, 2009

Philip Lane of the IIIS discussed the future of Irish fiscal policy. This included the nature of the revenue deficit, the constraints around fiscal policy in the current environment, the political realities of tax policy, and what he considers the optimal path of public sector pay cuts and tax hikes.

Firstly, we’ll discuss the consequences of the composition of the budgetary deficit. In recent years, tax revenue became heavily reliant on assets. These sources have now dried up, and won’t ever recover to the same levels. Thus, it becomes a question of what, not whether, tax hikes will be permanent.

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Carbon Warfare

16 May, 2009

Paul Krugman debates the limit of policy options that should be used to make China reduce its carbon consumption. He argues the necessity for China to change for the sake of the planet, and appears to be suggesting that imposing carbon taxes on imports might be acceptable if political progress cannot be made.

However, China has been making significant progress in developing clean technology according to the New York Times. Indeed, it has become the world leader in advanced coal-fired power generation, says the International Energy Agency. Meanwhile, combatting climate change will require international co-operation and compromise from both sides. Krugman’s moral superiority is not the answer.

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