Difficult decisions — 11 Comments

  1. Bang on Grandad !

    This is really sucky, I have been living my life hand to mouth , if the experssion still exisits, all my life, and I live a comfortable, this is my second recession, I always have had work, paid my taxed and shut the ….. up. A good little Irishman.

    Recently I have been feeling different. I would be open to paying more tax to save the country , but I have change my mind on that. I got a bonus for my hard work lately and it made negligable difference to my paycheck due to the tax curve or whatever the f***k its called, and I am not exactly a high wage earner I can tell you that , as a college grauate for the second time in my life.

    I am really sick of it. We live in a country where the Immoral, and I hope soon to be found Illegal, activities of a few have screwed us all. I am looking to start my own company and I cannot see anywhere I can get money. Buy all around me I see rich people who do so little and take so much.

    This comes back to an idea of mine. Image we had to pay more tax, but now imagine that we could choose into what part of the country we could place the resource (our money) , and now imagine people lobbying for our money got a 5 min pitch on youtube, the people of ireland would be the new Venture Capatilists.

    Imagine Biffos pitch 🙂

  2. “happy to see the top earners in the country paying 80% or more in tax”
    Ok so the average Joe making 35 to 40K a year pays about 2% in taxes. That sounds wonderful on the surface but where is the motivation to do better? If average Joe gets a promotion then his taxes go up and at some point it becomes not worth it because taxes will take away any incentive.
    Why should I work hard to better myself when you sliding tax scale will just take more and more of my money away?
    I like the idea of a flat tax! If average Joe makes 10K a year he pays 10% of his earnings to the Gub’mint and when he lands that 100K a year job he still only payes 10%. This way everbody pays a fair amount and there is still incentive to better yourself and help create a better economic climate.
    Our prez, Comrade The Messiah, is implimenting your tax the rich scheme and you’ll see our economy dive head first into the ol’ bucket

  3. Two factoids for youse:

    – The HSE has staffing levels close to that of the UK’s NHS, yet it only “services” a population the size of Manchester

    – Ireland is one of the worst regulated countries in the EU (look at the fiasco with Ango and the Financial Regulator) yet we are the country with proportionately the highest number of regulatory bodies.

    A country gets the leaders it deserves …

  4. BrianF. is partly right about taxation – you can’t take away the opportunity to better yourself by working hard and better, which is exactly what a ‘pure’ sliding scale like yours would do.

    Instead, higher earners should pay more for services such as health care, education and so on (and I’m not talking about the absurd ‘public/privte’ schemes we have here). Also, a property tax of some kind should be introduced

    But, as on almost everything else, our political leaders choose short-term weasel options, and we can see this in the amount and level of indirect taxation that are levied here (one of the highest in Europe) This blinkered way of thinking led us to increase VAT last year, one of the most disatrous decisions of the past twelve months (even the government has admitted this)

    Unless we reform the political system so that our national representatives become less beholden to the day-to-day concerns of their constituents, we will never have the proper climate to effect real change (and this goes way beyond a change of government – the present opposition would face exactly the same type of ‘constituent demand’ as FF, who have simply been better at appreciating and working this system).

    If local government is made powerful, accountable and transparent to the person on the street, decisons at national level will be made by people/parties who get elected on national platforms/policies.

    Time to get off me soap-box now, sink a few pints and head to the match … One final cheery thought – Obama is talking very seriously about making it unattractive for US companies to go abroad and take advantage of other countries’ favourable tax regimes … the ramification for Ireland Inc (where’s that phrase gone all of a sudden?) would be significant, and woudl put most of what’s happening now – property boom and bust, shifty bankers – in perspective …

  5. Thank you for calling the ‘difficult decisions’ line a load of bollox. The worst thing about the whole scene is how the government types appear to believe they had *nothing* to do with the current mess, but were bravely holding up the country, unappreciated by the rest of us the whole while. Unsung heroes and martyrs, the lot of them (in their own eyes). I can’t stand a single one of them.

  6. If there is a slow gradual scaling of taxes then the motivation still exists. If I were given the opportunity to earn an extra €10,000 per annum with a penalty of an extra 1% or so in tax, then of course I am going to take it. The ideas above are not my concept of an alternative tax regime, rather a set of emergency and temporary measures.

    The problem with a flat scale is that it disproportionately hits the lower paid. The main problem with our [anyones?] economy at the moment is the resistance to spending. The average man in the street must be given the power to spend or else the cycle of closures and redundencies will spiral downwards. This policy was reflected in the UK’s decision to remove VAT to encourage spending. Of course, our bunch of geniuses increased VAT, thereby slowing spending and causing more retail closures.

    Tony S – You nicely put your finger on one of the main problems with this country. Too many of our institutions are top heavy with beaurocracy. A classic example of this is the HSE. Our health service ran pretty well for a long time, where hospitals, clinics and the like were run at a local level and not by a bunch of accountants sitting in an office two hundred miles away. The same goes for government, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Local government should deal with local issues and national government should deal with national and international issues. How many of our TDs were elected because they promised to fix someones potholes in the road or some such trivial matter?

    Susan – Tonight Biffo is going to make his opening speech at the Ard Feis. I am almost tempted to watch, just to count the number of times he says ‘difficult decisions’. If he could only stand up, put his hand on his heart and admit that they made a right bollox of the country through their own greed, ineptitude and corruption, the their ratings might even jump to 2%?

  7. Grandad,

    1% approve of their handling of the country, but to my amazement 23% of the people according to the latest poll would vote for the FF persons.

    My own in depth survey in the local boozer in the arse end of Wicklow last night failed to find one. This may have something to do with fat, bald, ancient person roaring at bar, so not many heads came over the parapet to be inspected though a dark glass.

    Somewhere out there are nearly one in five of voters who will put a number one beside a FF candidate.

    Where are they hiding?

  8. KevanB – “Where are they hiding?” Probably hiding under the slimey rock at the bottom of the swamp from whence Fianna Fail originally emerged?

    JD – You jest!!

  9. you should run for election. i’d vote for ya even though i dont like the slidey tax thingy much

  10. Thanks, Dan. Vote early, vote often. The slidey tax thingy is probably a lot less painful for most of us than whatever shite they are planning?

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