I do not dispute those figures, but I would like to put them in context. The top 4% of earners accounted for nearly 98,000 people who each earned more than €100,000 in 2006. People earning more than €275,000 still took home an average of 72% of their salaries after tax.
It is only fair that those who earn the most should pay the most, especially when the top 4% of earners are paid 24% of the gross national wage bill. In general, the Irish income tax system meets the criterion of fairness.
The time has come to stop complaining about the minimum legal wage. To try to reduce it below subsistence level would take the very bread out of the mouths of real workers. Did someone say let them eat cake?
Instead, it is time for a maximum legal wage. In recent months, the Government signalled its support for this principle when it capped the wages of top bankers at €500,000 each per year. After all, there are only so many dinners that anyone can eat in a day.