Tax And Children

 

Sir, - Garret Fitzgerald points out ("Workforce growing, but where are the workers coming from?", March 4th) the negative effect on labour supply caused by the fact that ". . . the number of people reaching the age of 18 . . . is about to fall sharply, reflecting the post 1980 decline in the birth rate".

I wonder does Dr FitzGerald attribute that decline in the birth rate, in any way, to the action of the government at that time in first reducing, and then dropping completely, tax-free allowances for children? This sent a clear message to taxpayers that if they chose to have children they shouldn't expect the State to help them. The current Government (via Budget 2000) is sending a further clear message to taxpayers; looking after one's children must not interfere with working in the "productive" economy. What will be the effect of current policies on labour supply in 2020? - Yours, etc., Donal Lawlor,

Irishtown, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.