Ireland is Different

Ireland has the highest birth rate by far in the EU - as well as the highest rate of outward migration (bar Lithuania), according to new figures.

It seems the Irish are closer to Latin America than either Boston or Berlin…

thejournal.ie/ireland-has-on … 0-Jul2011/

Someone should tell the journal that those 0/00 are not percentages…

Pity this is in the Piston - it’s very relevant to the economy and the property market.

Eurostat tells us that (a) we have a new bulge at the bottom of the population pyramid (the “Pope’s Grandchildren”, if you like) and an exodus of working age people due to the lack of jobs.

Does this contribute to further falls in demand in the near term but perhaps puts us in a better position than some European neighbours in the longer term when it comes to paying pensions in 20 years?

I, for one, am looking forward to the property bubble of 2035!

Your wish, Ixelles…

do we know what country pays the highest rate of child benefit?

The Only Way is GiddyUp Ya Boya!

John the Optimist and Marc Coleman will be delighted to hear this.

Not surprisingly Ireland has one of the highest European expenditure rates on children/family:
circa.europa.eu/irc/dsis/esspros … 1_3_5.html

and (unless I skipped something) Ireland are is second highest in terms of child/family payments as a % of overall benefits:

circa.europa.eu/irc/dsis/esspros … 1_2_5.html

Anyway nothing at all surprising about this article. I know and know of a lot of young families with at least 3 children.

The high birth rates are largely due to the demographics of our immigrant population.

I think it’s largely due to the demographics of our native population.

There was a huge baby boom in the late 1970s to about 1981.

The average age of a woman having their first child is about 28/29.
All the previous baby boom are right in the middle of their peak baby producing years.

That’s my next chat up line right there :smiley:
“You are in your peak baby producing years, do you come here often?”

This is kind of a pet peeve of mine.

Under the way Ireland used to run child benefit. Everybody got a small amount of child benefit, then people who paid PAYE income tax got an allowance for having children and people who were at the lower end of the income spectrum got supplements and stuff.

It was messy, it was complicated, it inevitably left people in certain tax brackets screwed over, administratively it was expensive to run. So they simplified it, got rid of the tax breaks, and gave everyone a single higher rate of child benefit. Some of the messiness has crept back in and I’d like to see that taken out, but in principle I like the idea of the simplified system, for one thing it avoids penalising people in low paying jobs which is one thing we’re trying to avoid right now.

When you compare it to something like the system they have in the UK, which at first glance suggest a much lower rate of child allowance (£20.30 a week), but then there’s child tax credit, working tax credit which replaced working family tax credits, and childcare tax credits. I don’t know if they’ve sorted it out, but a few years ago it was a mess and people on low incomes ended up either owing or being owed thousands because of the way they were calculating it.

Yes our child benefit looks high, but if they reduce it they’ll end up introducing a tax credit, and then they’ll have to up the dole supplementals, and people who are currently on the dole will be even less able to afford to take low paying jobs because the tax credit at low wage levels won’t cover the difference, so they’ll probably need to bring something else in there to cover the gap.

Or we could just leave it the way it is now, where people who pay lots of tax are effectively getting some of their tax back and people who don’t have much money are getting the money they need.

Yes great idea and worthy logic - one large fly in the ointment - we cant afford it!

I three kids and we receive €400 a month which goes to pay for our holidays amd I’m not wealthy - totally unnecessary

Yep. This is exactly my argument to those who suggest means testing as a panacea for the state’s ills. AFAICS, means testing results in higher costs of administration, so the ‘savings’ are not made.

Personally, I’d get rid of pretty much all tax credits…

Humble thanks YM.

Anecdotally, I agree with those who suggest the baby boom is homegrown. I’ve seen a rash, a spate, nay, a veritable epidemic of pregnancies and births (in that order) over the past 18 months. (We’ve contributed one ourselves here at Ixelles Palace.)

There’s a definite boom which is going to cripple the schools and hospital system in the coming two decades. After that though, we might have a situation where the two biggest bulges in our demographics are at around 25 years and 55 years, giving us a potentially productive period, unless all the kids emigrate. (Sad face.)

What if…what if…nah, forget it - it’s too crazy…

…ah fkit: what if Coleman had a point about our demographics (buried deep inside is congenital wrongness)? Jebus, what if JtO is correct-ish to say the long-term prospects are not entirely bleak?

On child benefit, I’m currently holed up in a debt-laden, governmentless European kingdom (I don’t want to say which one) where child benefit is a whopping 80 quid a month, despite the high personal taxes. *
Ireland could cut child benefit and I’d still want to live there again.*

Terminator: Your confusion is not rational. She is a healthy female of breeding age.
John: Well, I think there’s a little more to it than that…
Terminator: My database does not encompass the dynamics of human pair bonding.

or this…

I don’t think that’ll ever work - recipients are ADULTS, not children, the system is based on recipients behaving RESPONSIBLY.
Otherwise, why shouldn’t we go all the way and pay retired judges’ pensions in vouchers that can only be redeemed on, say, Irish goods or services?

Why indeed.

Brazil has very successfully brought in a system of conditional cash transfers for the poorest segment of its population. Its a type of child benefit but it is conditional on things like getting your children vaccinated and ensuring attendance at school etc. It is currently being used as a model in a number of poorer countries. Don’t see why it couldn’t be adapted for richer countries.