Budget perspectives 2020

The ESRI held its annual conference to discuss policy issues related to the national Budget. Two new papers were launched at the event:Carbon taxes and compensation options and another titled Indexation and benchmarking of taxes and benefits: a framework to address key issues. More information on the two reports is available below.

John McCarthy, Chief Economist for the Economic division at the Department of Finance, presented on the macroeconomic outlook, and Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discussed pension automatic enrolment.


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Registration & Coffee


Welcome Address

Alan Barrett, Director, ESRI

Session 1

Chair: Alan Barrett, Director, ESRI


Macroeconomic Overview

John McCarthy, Assistant Secretary General and Chief Economist, Department of Finance


Carbon taxes and compensation options

Barra Roantree, ESRI

This paper examines the effects of a €10 per tonne increase in the Irish carbon tax on households’ incomes and rates of fuel poverty, and assess potential options for compensating households. We show that lower income households in particular can be left on average better-off by using the revenues raised to increase social welfare benefits and the state pension.

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Tea/Coffee Break

Session 2

Chair: John McKeon, Secretary General, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection


Pensions automatic enrolment: lessons from the UK experience

Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies


Indexation and benchmarking of taxes and benefits: a framework to address key issues

Claire Keane, ESRI, and Tim Callan, ESRI

Governments make choices about budgetary policy, with some countries automatically linking increases to benefits and tax bands to expected growth in prices or wages. Others, including Ireland, have no automatic increases each year. In this paper we examine the implications of alternative policies for inequality and poverty, and for the Exchequer.

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