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Fine Gael Deception Now Shaping Our Economy

Let’s be honest TV schedules this Christmas were nothing to write home about, so most of my TV entertainment came by watching the truly magnificent multiple award winning “Downton Abbey,” TV series, (Both series 1 & 2) over the holiday period. Housekeeper Mrs Elsie Hughes, the character depicted by actress Phyllis Logan, reminded me so much of my late grandmother, who held a similar position, in the Powerscourt / Wingfield estate in Co Wicklow, in the early 20th century.

One of the quotes regularly repeated by grandmother, Eliza Jane, suddenly sprang to mind,  “There are only two things of which mankind ever needs to be ashamed and both begin with the letter D, Dishonesty and  Dirt.

First I should explain that I personally don’t have a problem with paying tax, but taxes in any fair society should be based only on the principle of ones ability to pay, which is why the fairest form of taxation will always be direct taxation.

The latest Fine Gael budget does not factor in an ‘ability to pay,’ concept, instead stinking to high heaven of both the aforementioned “dishonesty and dirt.”

I will deal only with the dishonest issues surrounding the new household tax in this blog, pointing out again that as a general rule, in relation to household tax and expected water charges, I would certainly agree to paying same, were they applied with fairness and were they ever to actually attempt reform to our now defunct and in some cases unnecessary local government, to the point where same actually served the needs of its people.

Fine Gael have done quite a job cleaning up their pre-election website, removing most of their dishonest and desperate promises, which assisted them in gaining power, this time around. Well they have not cleaned up everything;

Warning: Phil Hogan who assured the public, yesterday, not to worry about security on his Household Charge website, must be somewhat embarrassed over the past few days, since his own website has been identified as far from secure by two top Internet browsers, namely Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, both of whom warn all surfers, that his site contains infectious malicious software ( philhogan.iePlease do not go there and open.)  Do click on image above for larger resolution which explains.

One deletion from the Fine Gael website was their promise not to introduce flat-rate charge on householders. However, let me remind you of their promise to those who supported them, and whom I trust retain a longer memory than Minister Phil Hogan.

Fine Gael Quote: “Flat rate charges means that houses in standard neighbourhoods worth a fraction of some mansions will pay the same rate of tax. It will be difficult to pay for asset rich but income poor households, particularly the elderly and the unemployed; and it will be deeply unfair for a young generation that paid exorbitant amounts of stamp duty and VAT on the purchases on over valued houses, many of whom now find themselves in negative equity.

Fine Gael’s apparent opposition to flat-rate household charges, based on fiscal benefit, efficiency and equity, were viewed by voters before the election, as worthy of support. Fine Gael, prior to this election, had made their stance crystal clear.  Michael Noonan told the Dail that a tax on financial property, along the lines of the French tax, would yield between €400 to €500 million, and the great thing about such a tax was that it would have very little deflationary impact, since such a tax would attach itself naturally to only the very highest incomes.

The EU/IMF Memorandum of Understanding, regularly used by Fine Gael Ministers to excuse their poorly thought out policies,  has no mention of a flat-rate household charge. It does state that Budget December 2012 should make provision for a ‘property tax,’ while Budget 2013 should then make provision for a further increase.

Fine Gael lied, this flat-rate tax, now introduced, is just about the most socially inequitable and economically inefficient tax one could possibly ever dream up, short of rule by dictatorship.

If our present Fine Gael & Labour Government ever had a mind to tackle the serious levels of inequality in our society, it would follow examples used by other European governments and increase income tax.

 Rural Ireland Tax Debate Needed

The debate must now commence, as to why those of us, who reside in rural areas, and who in most cases have to pay for digging our own wells, our own sewage system and it’s necessary maintenance, our own waste recycling, etc must now accept flat rate taxes. Rural Ireland with the exception of our towns and villages have no footpaths, we have no parks, we have no street lighting, yet we are expected to contribute for the benefit of the greater good. Has Phil Hogan visited Thurles Town recently, now displaying unacceptable broken footpaths, broken road signs and dirty neglect in evidence everywhere? Do take care coming over Barry’s Bridge Phil, should you accept my invitation, it is in danger of falling into the river Suir.

Yes we do get some benefit from local services, but our rural roads, whose maintenance we already support, through motor taxation, are now no better than gravel driveways, riddled with pot-holes.

Yes despite being in opposition, Fine Gael & Labour, you also must take some responsibility for our current financial predicament, so begin by casting aside the Dirt & Dishonesty. Like Google and Firefox warn ” Something’s Not Right Here!.”


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