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Poverty-Reducing Directions of Indirect Marginal Tax Reforms in Ireland

2012-12, Are, Wasiu Adekunle

The composition of tax revenue in Ireland had changed dramatically over the past decade, with indirect taxes accounting for a large share of total tax revenue. This shift towards indirect taxation more than direct taxation tends to put excessive burden on the poor, thereby raising the concern about equity implications of the Irish indirect tax systems. In this paper, we utilize Consumption Dominance curve techniques to analyse the impact of marginal indirect tax changes on poverty in Ireland , using the Irish Household Budget Survey data of 1999 and 2005 periods. Using this technique, which is based on the theory of stochastic dominance, we examined the pairwise comparison of different combinations of commodities for both the overall population and the subgroups of population. The technique helps us to identify the directions of indirect marginal tax changes which will reduce poverty for some selected commodities over a broad class of poverty measures and poverty lines.