It’s just a couple of EURO:

Ireland of today has adopted an interference theory of ‘big brother proportions’.  There was a laissez fair attitude of government & regulator to the banking system in the past 10years.  Yet we see there increasing control & interference of government in each of our lives because of this attitude.  This lacks of regulation is now being paid for by the ‘ordinary’ tax payer and the ever hard pressed welfare recipient.

To add to this new approach, additional taxes are being introduced to everyday life.  Regardless of how you introduce or dress them up, these are taxes.  Something that no economy in the history of recessionary times, whenever downturns existed, has worked to pull an economy out of recession. 

Tactically the new “Property Tax” is a stroke of genius. Cynical view this is in jest.  However, whilst the government is supposedly bound by the EU/IMF structure and supposedly this is one of the measures that the EU/IMF want introduced, it is something that many find unpalatable.  The economic return of €160million is paltry. 

In the July to September period of 2011, the revenue commission took in €93million in underpayment, unpaid and none payment of tax.  Should the revenue commission carry out a systematic review for the entire year of 2011 and previous years, it would be fair to suggest that it could cover the property tax bill of the nation for the next 3 years.  This isn’t the point all the same. 

So to look at this in a fairer manner we should break down the possible impact of this tax.  The Taoiseach said “…its only €2 a week…” If this is the proposed method for all future tax initiatives it doesn’t hold much credibility.  €2 per week may seem a small sum, but coupled with other charges the actual bill soon adds up.

Approx figures for average household

ESB:               

€720 p.a.                     €13.80 per week         (based on €120 per two month cycle  for average home)

Heating:

Oil       €1320 p.a.       €25 per week              (based on 1,500ltr oil @ €440 per 500ltr)

Coal    €220                €4.61 per week           (16wks coal €15 per bag spread over 12 months)

Home Insurance:

€240 p.a.                     €4.61 per week           (as described in a below average quote per home)

Life Assurance:         

€120 p.a.                     €2.30 per week           (some have build in with mortgage)

Rent / Mortgage:

€5,500 p.a.                  €105.70 per week       (based on a small average mortgage / rent)

Food:

€1,560                         €30 per week              (above average as many cant afford this)

Clothing:

€194 p.a.                     €3.73 per week           (based on 2 of shoes/jeans/socks/jumpers/t-shirt  & 1 coat for 1 adult at discount stores e.g. Penny’s)

T.V. Licence:

€160                            €3.07 per week           (based on only 1 t.v. in a house)

Refuge Collection:

€120                            €2.30 per week           (based on 1 bin per 2month (6pa) cycle at €20 per bin)

So the per week the average is €190.51 for a single adult person.  This does not include motor car insurance, tax, fuel, NCT & parts, mobile phone / home phone, internet, alcohol or any other social or leisure activity.  This does not account for any other payment that may arise such as health care etc and loans.  So if this is the benchmark should any additional charges (TAXES) be added people on welfare will be not only over the current payment of €188, but also further compound the problem.

Now, I mentioned earlier that this was a stroke of genius.  This is set within the context that, should the economy recover, the then “Property Tax” can either be abolished or amended, thus proving political masterclass indeed Master Stroke.  As it will be the government saying we scrap this scheme due to their fiscal policy and fighting for the people.  On the other hand it also opens the door to reconfigure the property tax to be lucrative in it will be rolled out in a different guise aka “poll tax in Britain”

Yes, this tax depends on many factors coming together.  Political opponents say they wont pay, yet I cant see them incur the penalties such as a €2,500 fine.  If I or others on welfare, low wages took the same course of action the fine itself could debilitate us and mean that something or other has to give.

We shall see if this will be the straw that breaks the camels back or it will as with many stealth taxes to-date, be resigned to its just another annoyance and we just pay it, remains to be seen.

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