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No “Home Tax,” Call At LPT Meeting In Thurles

It is morally wrong, unjust and unfair to tax a person’s home.” – Enda Kenny, 1994.
We are going to face the electoral difficulties that the Labour Party now faces.” – Eamon Gilmore 2013.
“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, …” – Irish Republic Proclamation.

Anti-Austerity protests in Dublin & Thurles

Anti-Home Tax protests in Dublin & in Hayes Hotel Thurles, Tipperary.

The anti-Local Property Tax and austerity protest rally which gathered outside City Hall in Dublin city yesterday afternoon, must surely have shown Fine Gael and its weakest link, namely the Labour Party, the overall mood of the Irish electorate. Gardaí, whose figures are normally accurate for such protest marches, have estimated that at least 5,000 people took part.

The protesters were made up of Socialist Party and People Before Profit members joining with unions and anti-austerity groups, and was set to coincide with the meeting of EU Finance Ministers in Dublin Castle. Roads in the vicinity of Dublin Castle were cordoned off, as were all entrances to the Castle yard.

Speakers, using the more accurate description of “Home Tax,” instead of Local Property Tax, urged the assembled crowd not to pay and promised a National Campaign of Resistance.

The Revenue Commissioners claim that at least 60,000 home owners have made their property tax returns via 36,888 electronic returns and 23,068 paper files, however it is unlikely they are, as yet, fully aware of the true substance contained in each individual return. This percentage of tax returns submitted falls far short of the 1.2 million local property tax letters, covering more than 1.3 million properties, which have been issued through the Revenue’s online services. Thousands of demands for example have been issued to those who only rent and who own no property whatsoever in the Irish State currently.

While attendees at the Thurles Local Property Tax (LPT) information & protest meeting, organised Deputy Seamus Healy on Wednesday April 10th last in Hayes Hotel was small, (around 50 angry souls, mainly pensioners, did turn up), the fury here also was very evident. There were many calls to boycott government party local councillors, who would choose to stand in next year’s local elections. Others in attendance questioned the possibility of seeking legal advice.

One elderly lady stated that her home presently lacked any real comfort since she could no longer afford to heat it, now she must pay a tax on this same discomfort.   All attending agreed fully on one topic for discussion, that this present government had no mandate from those who elected them to introduce a Local Property Tax on Irish citizens.

Speaking to pensioners after the meeting, some felt that after working all their lives, the present Labour party, in particular, were echoing the words of Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso, who stated to the elderly in his country earlier this year “hurry up and die,” to avoid an unnecessary drain on his country’s finances.

One elderly gentleman stated that Sean Quinn, Bernard McNamara and Sean Dunne had been allowed to run up debts of €3bn and the elderly were now expected to forward their pensions to these same people, as if they were worthy charitable institutions. There was much criticism of local politicians also, who it was claimed were failing to support any form of local initiative, to the betterment of rural Ireland and Tipperary.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”  This tax must now be vigorously resisted by all citizens and not just by the elderly.

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