80% concerned about wealth inequality

Monday 29 September 2008 15.24
Wealth distribution - Majority are concerned about fairly sharing wealth
Wealth distribution - Majority are concerned about fairly sharing wealth

A survey has revealed that 80% of adults are concerned about high levels of wealth inequality in the Republic.

It also showed that 50% of higher earners would be willing to pay higher taxes to fund improved public services.

The survey was carried out by market researchers Behaviour & Attitudes for the think tank TASC.

Last April, they interviewed 1,000 adults reflecting the profile of the adult population.

They found that 70% believe unequal wealth distribution is unfair while 80% are concerned about it.

41% of all respondents, and 50% of higher earners, would be willing to pay higher taxes to fund improved public services. TASC says this marks a quadrupling of support for this since 2003.

67% of believe that issues to do with economic and social justice, public services, poverty, work-life balance and happiness are the most important in measuring a country's performance. This compares with 21% who cited economic growth as the most important factor.

TASC's Director Paula Clancy said inequality had become endemic here, and that during the boom years people like former PD leader Michael McDowell claimed it was an inevitable by-product of economic growth.

But she said it was clear from the survey that the vast majority of Irish people disagree with that view.