Crisis and Corporate Welfare

  • Nat O’ConnorEmail author
  • Paul Sweeney


When state supports to business are examined from a welfare perspective, various important tensions are exposed. Corporate welfare can be seen as draining public resources to support unviable or politically influential businesses. However, corporate welfare can also been seen as an industrial policy to boost economic development and to create more and better jobs, for the benefit of society. This chapter contrasts these two perspectives on corporate welfare before illustrating the evolution of state supports to business, from the origin of the Irish state to its continuing role in the economy, as permitted by EU rules. The continuum between social welfare and corporate welfare is then discussed, including the role of tax policy. The chapter ends with a discussion of the politics of corporate welfare.


Corporate welfare Social welfare Tax policy Ireland 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Research in Social Sciences, Ulster UniversityNewtownabbeyUK
  2. 2.Former Chief Economist of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Member of the Economic Committee of the ETUC and Chair of TASC’s Economists’ NetworkDublinIreland

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