No offence intended, but are Irish people mathematically illiterate?
“Take care of the pennies, George, and the pounds will take care of themselves”, warned my now late Grandmother, Eliza Jane; using, as only she was wont to do, a well-known pithy saying which acknowledged general basic truth.
Recent happenings in relation to our day to day financial spending now beg the question; “Do our primary schools actually teach basic mathematics to our children anymore?”
So called ‘Copper’ coins holding values of one and two cent are now on their way out in seven EU countries, with Ireland the latest to drop their circulation, using a system known as “Rounding up or Rounding down”.
From the end of last month, (October 2015), our countries retailers are required to ‘Round Up or Down’ to the nearest five cent; in our present governments effort to phased out the daily use of small coinage. Now ask yourself; “Who will most benefit from this decision?” These coins (generally referred to as Coppers), are composed of just copper-covered steel. This ‘glorified shrapnel’ referred to as coinage have been in use since 2002, though some are dated 1999, which is the year the Euro was first created as a currency, but never placed into general circulation.
Some 3 cents in every Irish Euro are now being stolen, yes stolen, from the pockets of consumers by this Irish Fine Gael /Labour led government decision. Same represents €3 in hidden taxation in every €100; the equivalent of €30 in hidden taxation on every €1,000 earned annually.
Based on an unemployed persons income, (under the age of 21), same persons who currently only receives €100 from the Irish State weekly, thanks to the Labour Party; they stand to lose annually, €150. It follows therefore that Old Age Pensioner in receipt of €200 per week now stand to lose some €300 annually. The recent Fine Gael /Labour Vote buying election Budget for 2016, which so generously granted old age pensioners an increase of a meagre €3.00 per week or €3 x 52 weeks = €156 annually, has actually reduced their annual existing pension by some €144 per year. (The imposition of €0.50 cents added to a packet of ‘fags’ had already cost these pensioners some €3.50 per week, based on the purchase of one packet per day.)
So what will this estimated annual €3 million saving, gained by no longer manufacturing these one and two cent coins; not to mention the extra hidden taxation imposed on daily consumers, be used to support? Will it be handed to Irish Water; used to solve issues in Homelessness, Social Housing, Education, Hospital Services, the Nation Debt, or will it go to pay for endless Independent Enquiries, Government Consultants etc.; surely taxpayers are entitled to some basic information from the Minister for Finance, Openness and Transparency, Mr Michael Noonan?
Remember our last efforts in January 2002 to “Round up and Round Down”; when a previous government-made decision to dump the Irish pound, was introduced, to favour the introduction of our present weak Euro, was “Rounded Down”?
Maybe it is now time to update and re-write this age old English proverb to read; “Get rid of your pennies and the government will take care of your pounds.”
Maybe we could have a Referendum and when we agree on a correct wording, if passed, add it into the Irish Constitution to assist government theft into the future.