Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What does bad journalism cost the state?

Today the Irish Times tells us that tax relief on health insurance costs the state around €400m per year. They arrive at that figure by simply producing the total of all tax credits due to taxpayers' health insurance policies.

Okay, that's the amount of relief taxpayers avail of, but is that the total cost? Surely if that relief were eliminated a certain percentage of those taxpayers would find the cost of health insurance prohibitive or simply not worth it. That would mean they would become 100% public patients, which would add to the state's costs.

I can accept that it would be nearly impossible to make a reasonable attempt at quantifying that figure, but to not even mention it is the difference between journalism and activism.