Ireland, Republic- Economic analysis of government policies, investment climate and political risk.






REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Economic Policy Analysis

This site presents an analysis of the Irish government's economic policies compared to a revised list of 35 economic policies as prepared by Niall Sheeran with the McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) in December 2018.

To read the analysis scroll through this site. To learn more about the background policies, click here: Introduction and Policy Recommendations

To learn more about MIEPA, click here Return to MIEPA's Home Page

The study is by Niall Sheeran, an Irish native who currently [December 2018] lives in San Francisco; this study presents the Irish Repiblic's economic policies as compared to the MIEPA list of policies as outlined above. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:


5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2018. Used herein with permission]

To read a disclaimer about the analysis in this file, scroll to the bottom of the file.

Return to MIEPA's Home Page





        1               4.6          13.8             15.0        92 %

        2               4.2          12.6             15.0        84

        3               3.6          10.8             15.0        72

        4               3.7          11.1             15.0        74

        5               4.3          12.9             15.0        86

        6               4.7          14.1             15.0        94

        7               4.1          12.3             15.0        82

        8               4.2          12.6             15.0        84

        9               2.8           8.4             15.0        56

        10              4.1          12.3             15.0        82

        11              4.6          13.8             15.0        92

        12              2.5           5.0             10.0        50

        13              4.7           9.4             10.0        94

        14              3.6           7.2             10.0        72

        15              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        16              4.2           8.4             10.0        84

        17              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        18              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        19              4.8           9.6             10.0        96

        20              4.8           9.6             10.0        96

        21              1.0           2.0             10.0        20 

        22              1.7           3.4             10.0        34

        23              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        24              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        25              4.2           8.4             10.0        84        

        26              2.2           4.4             10.0        44

        27              2.2           4.4             10.0        44

        28              1.2           2.4             10.0        24

        29              4.0           4.0              5.0        80 

        30              4.6           4.6              5.0        92

        31              5.0           5.0              5.0       100

        32              4.7           4.7              5.0        94

        33              4.4           4.4              5.0        88

        34              1.0           1.0              5.0        20

        35              2.3           2.3              5.0        46

   TOTAL              131.5         281.9            370.0        76.1%
                      =====        ======            =====        =====


1.Freedom from internal control 4.6

Citizens of Ireland are free from pro-active control from the Irish government agencies. They have free movement of people within their country and also within the European Union. The Schengen Agreement is an agreement brokered by certain European countries that allows people to travel between participating countries without having to show passports at internal borders. With 26 countries partof this agreement, border posts and checks have been removed within these states. With the impending Brexit, Ireland’s border control and movement of people is under intense scrutiny. The EU treaties have a number of provisions dealing with the free movement of people and specifically with the free movement of workers. The treaties provide that “every citizen of the Union shall have the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in the EC Treaty.

2. Freedom of speech 4.2

Freedom of speech is one of the Irish constitution’s most majestic guarantees. The guarantee, however, is not one of absolute majesty. An article in the constitution provides that the State guarantees liberty for the rights of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions, subject to public morality. Specifically, that provision in the Constitution provides that organs of public opinion such as the radio and the press must not be used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State. It also states that it is an offense to publish or utter blasphemous, seditious or indecent matter. There are some limitations on your freedom of expression. For example, the Censorship of Publications Acts and the Censorship of Films allow censorship of publications like books, films and DVD’s.

3. Effective, fair police force. 3.6

The Garda Siochana (also commonly referred to as the Gardai) is the national police force of Ireland. The name Garda Siochana means ‘guardians of the peace’. The Gardai has the responsibility for carrying out all policing duties in the Irish State. In addition, it provides State security services and carries out all the criminal and traffic law enforcement. However, most of Ireland’s police officers are not even trained in the use of firearms with only 20-25% of Irish police officers qualified to use them. Even without this armed protection, Ireland ranks 13th in the world in terms of effectiveness and legitimacy of its police force.

4. Private Property 4.7

Real Property – Secured interests in property, both chattel and real estate, are recognized and enforced. The Department of Justice and Equality administers a reliable system of recording such security interests through the Property Registration Authority (PRA) and registry of Deeds. The PRA registers a person’s interest in property on a public register. In certain cases, this ensures that an owner’s interest in property is documented and protected by a State guarantee.

Intellectual Property Rights – Ireland is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a party to the International Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Legislation enacted in 2000 brought Irish intellectual property right (IPR) law into compliance with Ireland’s obligations under the WTO Trade-Related Intellectual Property Treaty (TRIPS). The legislation gave Ireland one of the most comprehensive legal frameworks for IPR in Europe. The Irish government enacted the EU Copyright and Related Rights Regulation in 2012. This law makes it possible for copyright holders to seek court injunctions against companies such as internet providers (ISPs) or social networks whose systems host copyright-infringing material.

5. Commercial banks 4.3

There are 64 commercial banks in Ireland. All banks in Ireland must be licensed by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), which is responsible for the traditional central banking functions, such as financial regulations. The banks in Ireland consist of two main types. (A) Retail banks that provide general banking services, including comprehensive current account services and mortgage facilities. (B) Banks that operate in the International Financial Services Center (IFSC). Moody’s, an Investor’s Service, predict the outlook for the Irish banking system as positive, due to expectations that operating conditions for the country’s banks will continue to improve. The Bank of Ireland is considered one of the largest and safest banks in Ireland. It was selected as Ireland’s representative on the Safest Banks by Country 2017 in Global Finance magazine.

6. Communication systems 4.7

RTE (RaidioTeilifis Eireann) is a statutory semi-state company and the public service broadcaster. It is one of the oldest continuously operating public service broadcasters in the world. A television license is required for any address at which there is a television set or device that is not exempt. The annual license fee is 160euro. Telecommunications in Ireland is operated in a regulated competitive market that provides customers with a wide array of advanced digital services. Ireland’s telecommunication network is a modern-digital system connected by an extensive national fiber-optic network with multiple high capacity fiber optic links to the UK, continental Europe, North America and with dedicated capacity on routes to Asia and other parts of the globe. There is an open and competitive telecommunications market regulated by the Commission for Communications Regulation. However, the fixed-line market is still dominated by the incumbent operator Eir.

7. Transportation. 4.1

The latest data show an increase in the percentage of Ireland’s road network classified as motorway (now 17% of national-level roads). The level of public transport services provided for bus and rail increased in 2015. Travel demand for land transport showed continued strong growth across a range of measures. Total kilometers driven on Irish roads increased by 8.3%. An increased level of road freight activity grew but rail freight activity declined. Aviation continued togrow and Dublin Airport had another record year in terms of passengers handled with 27.8 million. Ireland’s port system experienced further increases in activity in 2015 helping to support the sector and the wider economy. In bad news however, the level of emissions from the transport sector grew again in 2015 to 11.8m tonnes of carbon dioxide. Continued growth in transport activity will create increasingly challenging conditions in which to meet climate-related targets.

8. Education. 4.2

Education is compulsory for the children in Ireland from the ages of six to sixteen or until students have completed three years of second-level education. The Irish education is state-funded and is available at all levels, unless you choose to send your child to a private institution. The Irish education system is made up of Primary School from 6-12 years of age. Followed by, six more years (unless you finish after three) at a Secondary School. Higher education in Ireland is provided by 7 Universities, 14 Institutes of Technology and Colleges of Education. In addition, a number of other third level institutions provide specialist education in such fields as art and design, medicine, business studies, rural development, theology, music and laws. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked Ireland 17th of the world for Reading, Math’s and Science skills in 15-year-olds. Another recent study showed Ireland held its position, at 19th out of 50, in an international ranking of higher education systems despite public investment failing to match expanding third-level enrolments.

9. Social Mobility. 2.8

Simply, social mobility refers to the chances that a child from a family will grow up to adulthood and attain a higher economic and social well-being than their origins. A child born into a low-income family in Ireland would take an estimated five generations to earn the average income. Social mobility has pretty much been stagnant across the globe since the 1990’s and Ireland is no different. Social mobility is classified into ten groups in Ireland based on the level of skill and educational attainment of the occupation of the primary household earner.All other persons are classified to the socio-economic group of the person in the family on whom they are deemed dependent.

10. Share of All Jobs in Small Business. 4.1

Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are particularly important for the labor market in Ireland. They generate more than 70% of all jobs in the non-financial business economy, approximately 4 percent points more than the EU average. Conversely, they generate only 36.6% of value added tax, 20 percent points below the EU average. SMEs have contributed substantially to growth of the Irish non-financial business economy in recent years. The overall business environment in Ireland appears favorable to SMEs thanks to a high number of initiatives taken by the government over recent years. However, the cost of doing business for the Irish SME is very high and is continually increasing. Lastly, although it not yet known how Brexit will affect the Irish business environment, contingency plans for SME’s, like, new markets are likely to gain importance.

11. Freedom from outside control. 4.6

With Ireland’s participation in the European Union, which, implements their set of laws on its member states. This could be construed as Ireland is somewhat under control from outside forces.EU law is considered the fourth primary source of law in Ireland. However, it is the highest-ranking law in Ireland, and where Irish law conflicts with EU law, EU law prevails. These laws mean that every action which is taken by the EU is founded on treaties that have been approved democratically by its members. EU laws help to achieve the objectives of the EU treaties and put EU policies into practice.

12. Protection of Domestic Enterprises 2.5

With Ireland being a member of the 28 member-states of the European Union, means the EU levies a common tariff on imports coming from non-EU countries such as the United States. Value-added tax (VAT) is charged on the sale of goods and services within Ireland. Unlike customs duty, which is the same for all EU member countries, VAT is established by the tax authorities of each country. Ireland’s is 23%. For temporary imports, which are to be re-exported,they are not subject to tax. Thus, helping international businesses.

13. Foreign currency transactions. 4.7

With Ireland being a member of the European Monetary System (EMS) through the EU, commercial transactions and payment terms are reflected in Euro’s through common Western practices. There are no commercial foreign-exchange limitations or unusual regulations. If an Irish business exports or imports goods or services outside the eurozone, it needs to consider how it will protect itself against changes in the exchange rate. A tiny variation can end up costing thousands of Euros. Even with the Euro as one of the leading reserves currencies of the world, along with the US Dollar, Japanese Yen, Pound Sterling and Swiss Franc. Those who are creating businesses in Ireland have easy access to foreign currencies but face unstable exchange rates which can be problematic to profit margins.

14. Border control. 3.6

With the island of Ireland being two separate countries, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the border is a sensitive part of Irish history. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and with their impending withdrawal from the European Union, Brexit, it has opened new debate in to how this border will be governed. The border had been a paramilitary patrolled entity from the independence of the Irish Free State, to the peace process in the mid 1990’s. The border has emerged as the one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit talks, with hopes of a frictionless border without control or customs the desired option. Documentation and compliance requirements can increase transaction costs. Not to mention the added taxes needed to pay for such a border. If you are visiting Ireland, an Irish Visa allows you to travel to Ireland and request permission to enter the country. At border control an immigration officer will examine your passport and inspect all travel itinerary. They will decide if you are allowed to enter the country or not. If you are allowed to enter you are given a temporary immigration permission to stay there. This lasts for up to 3 months. Any longer requires different visas.

15. Currency 4.5

The euro is the official currency of Ireland and 18 others of the 28 member-states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the euro zone or area. It is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. It is the currency officially used by the institutions within the euro zone, consequently being used daily by some 343 million Europeans as of 2018. Additionally, 240 million people worldwide use currencies pegged to the euro. The euro is also has more than 1.2 trillion euros in circulation. The euro has the highest combined values of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world.

16. Cultural, language homogeneity 4.2

The diversity of Ireland has grown with ethnic and racial minorities making up about 12 percent of the population of Ireland – a proportion that doubled in the first decade of the 21st century. Immigration from the rest of Europe, Africa and Asia has been significant since the last two decades of the 20th century. The key factors in increased immigration have been the more-open labor market provided by the European Union and the globalized nature of the contemporary Irish economy. One report suggested Ireland was 50 years behind the United Kingdom in terms of multi-culturism, but does highlight the progression in attitudes towards race and diversity since the early 90’s. The constitution provides that Irish Gaelic be the first official language and English the second. Irish Gaelic is a Celtic language spoken by 138,000 people as a first language, and by another 1,000,000 people as a second language with 276,000 first-language speakers worldwide.

17. Political effectiveness 5.0

Ireland ranks 24th in terms of Government effectiveness by an index sourced by the World Bank. The government of Ireland has used its political powers to call impactful referendums over the past five years. This has had huge support by the people of Ireland. Firstly in 2015, when gay marriage rights meant that the Irish were the first to introduce same sex marriage laws in 2015. This was with 62% of the population approving the amendment, with a voter turnout of 61%. The second indication of political effectiveness was to update the 1937 constitution and reflect modern-day Ireland with its socially liberal policies. In May this year, Ireland voted overwhelmingly to liberalize the country’s strict abortion laws. Irish people from all over the world made the trip for #HometoVote with a record 70% making their voices heard and it won with a staggering 68% approval. Political effectiveness begins and ends with the people who make their voices heard.

18. Institutional stability 5.0

The Constitution of Ireland is the national sovereignty of the Irish people since it was established in 1937. It is a liberal democracy based on a system of representative democracy. This guarantees fundamental rights which can only be amended by a national referendum. These measures ensure institutional stability and create a business-friendly environment.

19. Honest government 4.8

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The two main parties areFianna Gael and Fianna Fail, both whose origins led to the beginning of the Free State. Government has always been seen as a civic duty led historic leaders who cultivated their town, county, province and nation. Women and men whose visions created an industrious hard-working economic climate. There have been, however, a few occasions that “brown-paper bags” were exchanged from developers to politicians. During the Celtic Tiger, two of Ireland’s most celebrated Taoiseach’s’ or Prime-Ministers’ were found guilty of receiving such payments and tax evasion. In 2003 Ireland signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption treaty and ratified it on 11 November 2011. Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 19th place out of 180 countries. It appears Ireland is learning from previous mistakes and maintaining transparency through its political process.

20. Common Laws 4.8

Irish law is based on Common Law as modified by subsequent legislation and by the Constitution of 1937. In accordance with the Constitution, justice is administered in public courts established by law. Judges are appointed by the President on the advice of the government. They are invariably senior practicing members of the legal profession. They are guaranteed independence in the exercise of their functions and can be removed from office for misbehavior or incapacity only by resolution of both the Oireachtas (the National Parliament) and Senate (Upper House). The court of summary jurisdiction is the District Court. For more serious cases, they are tried by the Circuit Court and the High Court has full original jurisdiction and determining power in all matters of law or fact, civil or criminal. It is administered by the Department of Justice and Equality.

21. Central Bank 1.0

The Central Bank of Ireland is Ireland’s central bank, and as such, part of the European System of Central Banks. It is Irelands financial services regulator for most categories of financial firms. It was the throwing issuer of the Irish pound banknotes and coinage until the introduction of the euro currency, and now provides the service for the European Central bank based in Frankfurt, Germany. The Central Bank of Ireland’s mandate calls on it to contribute to the well-being of the people of Ireland and more widely in Europe by performing statutory responsibilities. Really and truly, the Central Bank of Ireland is a relic of a currency that has been left in the past. The decision to join the euro has helped to improve the Irish economy. However, the move to the euro currency has made the central bank of Ireland unimportant.

22. Domestic budget management 1.7

The Irish government has been unable to balance its books for the past 13 years. The deficit widened in the first four months of this year as expenditure rose and tax receipts were lower than expected. The incapability to remain in budget is increasing the national debt. Even with the country’s economic growth it appears that under the surface all might not be well. The large tax incentives that allow huge savings for the large multinational corporations are doing little to help this ever-increasing debt – 320 euros’ a second. The Irish budget deficit did however fall to its lowest GDP at the end of 2017 at the rate of 3%.

23. Government debt 2.2

Ireland recorded a government debt equivalent to 68% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017. In this year the government also had debt of 201 million euro, which is nearly 42,000euros for every person in the country. Most of this debt was accumulated in the economic collapse when the taxpayer bailed out the banks.Coupled with the fact annual expenditure by Government exceeded annual revenue for every year since 2008. However, even in 2007, there was a Government debt of 47.1 billion euros. The period after the collapse added 154.2 billion, or 77% of the current debt level. Despite five consecutive years of economic growth, the Government has run annual financial deficits albeit on a decreasing basis. The usual performance indicator of Government debt is the ratio of debt to GDP. Legal obligations and targets on debt in the EU growth and stability pact are expressed in the debt-to GDP indicator. This ratio which takes-into-account the relative burden of debt by relating it to the economy’s income and the EU objective is for the ratio to be below 60%. Ireland is ranked 13th highest in the EU, with a ratio of 68%. This heavy weight of government debt coupled with the personal debt of Irish citizens against the huge economic growth which has given the critics the slogan of Leprechaun economics – hard to believe.

24. Economic statistics 4.5

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is Ireland’s national statistics office and their purpose is to impartially collect, analyze and make available statistics about Ireland’s people, society and economy. They are mandated under the Statistics Act 1993 for: “The collection, compilation, extraction and dissemination for statistical purposes of information relating to economic, social and general activities and conditions of the state”. At a national level, CSO official statistics form decision making across a range of areas including construction, health, welfare, the environment and the economy. At European level they provide an accurate picture of Ireland’s economic and social performance and enable comparisons between Ireland and other countries. The statistics are readily available. However, they are only recorded every five years.

25. Protection of public health and safety. 4.2

The Department for Workplace Health and Safety is responsible for workplace health and safety policy in Ireland and for the governance of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). The role of the HSA is the overall responsibility for the administration and enforcement of health and safety at work in Ireland. It monitors compliance with legislation at the workplace and can take enforcement action (up to and including prosecutions). The HSA also promotes education, training and research in the target fields. 47 people died in work related deaths in 2016, 24 worked in agriculture, making this the worst for fatal incidents for the eighth year in a row. Although there have been accidents, Ireland’s public health and safety has been constantly improving and more is being done in the interest of safety.

26. High wage policies 2.2

14% of households have a gross income of 100,000 euros per annum in Ireland. The top 5% of individuals in income distribution have an income of more than 78,000 euros per annum. These numbers speak to a limited amount of high-paying jobs in the Irish job market. However, with some 140,000 of these taxpayers with incomes over 100,000 euro’s, they pay around 20% of the total income tax and Universal Social Charge (USC). In contrast, to the 1.2 million people who earn less than 30,000 euros and pay just under 3% of total income and USC. It seems the incentive to work in Ireland has a finite number of jobs and ultimately, the harder you work, the higher tax bracket you fall under. With rental rates ever increasing (2,000 euros per month in Dublin, 2018) and a healthy cost of living also, it could be a motivation for talented young Irish professionals to ply their trade in other parts of the world.

27. Environmental protection. 2.2

Ireland has had mixed results in implementing and enforcing environmental legislation. Despite progress in several areas, including waste recycling and reducing emissions from industrial facilities. The country is struggling to meet agreed EU targets due to increasing emissions in agriculture and transport. Overall, total emissions are projected to be between 6% and 11% below 2005 levels in 2020 but the target is a 20% reduction. Agriculture, energy industries and transport accounted for 72.5% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2015. Compliance needs to improve in drinking water, urban waste water treatment, river basin district plans and special areas of conservation. However, Ireland’s major reform of the waste sector, closing illegal landfills and financing extensive clean-up and remediation works has received widespread praise. Ireland has better air quality than most countries in Europe. Traffic is the main cause of air quality problems in larger towns and cities, while there are problems in some small towns with coal, turf and wood dependence for home heating.

28. Strong Army 1.2

The Defense Forces of Ireland were founded on the 25th November 1913. It has helped in the 1916 Easter Rising, the War of Independence, the Civil War and most recently modern-day peace support operations. With an army of over 9,000 men and women, OglaighnahEireann (Defense forces in Gailge), whose main objectives are to defend the State against armed aggression, to aid the civil power and to participate in peace support. Ireland’s defense spending is the lowest in Europe and dropped to as low as 0.3 per cent of the GDP in 2016. The army of Ireland is more ceremonial than designed to with-hold a foreign invasion.

29. Foreign Trade Impact 4.0

The Irish Government duly notes that openness to trade and investment is one of the mainsprings of the economy. Indigenous exports increased by 60% to reach 20.6 billion euro: export growth was strong in all geographic territories; visitor revenues exceeded targets by 20% and the foreign direct investment (FDI) project target was exceeded by 30%. On the inside of Irish government Foreign Trade seems set for a continual growth. However, the impending Brexit, will undoubtedly cause speculation on Irish Foreign Trade. With 45% of Irelands exports going to the United Kingdom and potential new tariffs with Brexit hanging ominously - only time will tell. The exports of goods and services (% of GDP) of Ireland in 2017 was 120.01% and imports of goods and services (% of GDP) 87.88%.

30.Management of foreign currency budget. 4.6

In 2016 Ireland exported $160B, making it the 28th largest exporter in the world. During the last five years the exports of Ireland have increased at an annualized rate 0.4%, from $154B in 2011 to $160B in 2016.The most recent exports are led by Packaged Medicaments which represent 17.3% of the total exports. In 2016, Ireland imported $74.4B, making it the 38th largest importer in the world. During the last five years the imports have increased at an annualized rate of 2% from $67.4B in 2011 to $74.4B in 2016. The most recent imports are led by Planes, Helicopter and or Spacecraft which represents 13.7% of the economy. With over twice the amount of exports to imports, Irelands foreign budgets are secure with gradual increase.

31. Layers of collective action. 5.0

Ireland fought for independence from Great Britain in 1916. This victory over colonial rule, which had lasted for over 600 years, allowed Ireland to be its own sovereign state. The layers of collective action are embodied in the culture and sport of Ireland due to the oppression it faced. The native language,Gailge,was nearly brought to extinction but now is still taught in schools up to the completion of high school. Ireland which held a devout faith to the Catholic church prior to the 1990’s, but after the scandals which the church faced, Ireland became a leader in equality through gay marriage and the woman’s right to choose in recent referendums. The sports of Ireland, Gaelic Football and Hurling, are also an embodiment of collective action. These native games are voluntary-commitment sports that require extensive training on par with NFL athletes. All for travel expenses and a pat on the back. These sports are engrained in Irish heritage which allow these traditional games to be enjoyed like a beacon of

Irish pride across the world. It has more than 500,000 members worldwide, assets in excess of €2.6 billion, and declared total revenues of € 94.8 million in 2010, with a total gross profit of €78.5 million along with Croke Park - the third largest stadium in Europe. Similar to sports the local communities rely heavily on community involvement which means decisions that are made for local communities are made by local people.

32. Pro-business climate. 4.7

Ireland is a start-up friendly environment. It has great tax incentives and has a flexible approach to new business. Ireland has some of the lowest corporate taxes in the world. The World Bank’s “Doing Business’ report rates Ireland as the easiest EU location to start a business. The same report rates Ireland’s tax regime as the most business-friendly in Europe or the America’s. The Irish Government pursues a pro-business economic policy. Ireland has a consistent, decades-long policy of welcoming foreign-owned business. International reports rate Ireland’s workforce highly for factors such as educational attainment, productivity and flexibility. Ireland is a gateway to world markets and one of the most open and globally connected countries in the world.

33. Government Enterprises. 4.4

Ireland’s government has state-owned enterprises in which, commercial businesses are beneficially owned, either completely or majority for non-profit purposes. These State-Sponsored Bodies are the responsibility of the Minister for Finance who acts as a shareholder. These are organized as statutory corporations which are non-profit and do not have formal shareholders. They are rather supported by a board and other authorities. Examples of these government run corporations are, the Electricity Supply Board, RaidioTeilifis Eireann (Radio and Television of Ireland) and also the CorasIompair Eireann (Irish Transport Company). The commercial State sector continues to play a key role in the further development of the economy by contributing to employment growth. The most significant contribution which the State enterprises can make to national and social development is the delivery of services which are efficient, effective and able to compete in the markets they serve. The transport system in Ireland annually makes over 230 million journeys on their network of national, regional, local and urban services across three divisions of travel. It is the largest single generator of inward tourism from the USA to Ireland.

34. International Security Agreements. 1.0

Ireland has a traditional policy of military neutrality. It does have a formal relationship with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) but has yet to join NATO as a full member.

35. Protection of Domestic Enterprises from Government Mandated Costs. 2.3

Ireland’s government has a heavy reliance on the small business and self-employed income tax bracket – these tax rates which can reach up to 52% - are a counter to the low corporation taxes imposed on large companies. With corporate tax rates of 12.5%, one of the lowest in the world, Ireland prefers to incentivize large multi-national corporations to set-up businesses and supportthose specific jobs (like the pharmaceutical and technology markets) through its’ public-school system. With 17.4% of the population being self-employed in Ireland, down from 1990, when it was a quarter of the workforce. Incomes over 100,000 euros in small businesses result in both employees and the self-employed paying a tax at the top rate of 52%. The self-employed receive no tax credits and inferior social insurance contributions (known as PRSI – Pay Related Social Insurance). They also have a very narrow rule set for the claiming of expenses that are “wholly exclusively and necessarily incurred in the business”.


All the information and conclusions in each country analysis are solely the responsibility of the individual student and have not been verified, corrected, checked for copyright infringement or evaluated in any way by MIEPA or Mike P. McKeever. You are solely responsible for the results of any use you make of the information and conclusions in these studies. Use them at your own risk as interesting supplemental information only instead of seasoned judgements about the policy factors contained herein. Each student has granted permission for his or her work to be displayed here under his or her own name or wishes to remain anonymous and have either created a pen name or used no name at all; if you wish to contact them for any reason, forward your request to MIEPA and the student will be notified of your interest.

To learn more about other countries, click to other files here:

Return to MIEPA's Home Page


Return to MIEPA's Home Page list of country studies

Introduction and Policy Recommendations

Winning Essays: There Are Alternatives Project (TAA)

Essay: Balanced Trade: Toward the Future of Economics

Moral Economics


Web address:


To contact MIEPA, please send an email to this email address:

Please place the acronym MIEPA in the subject line.