Saturday 3 December 2016

Anne Harris: The coping class is cast out. We need a stake in our country

Anne Harris

Published 12/02/2012 | 05:00

POWERLESSNESS is a sickness of the psyche. Economic powerlessness is a sickness of the body politic. Merge these twin angsts and you have accidie -- a condition recognised in the Middle Ages as the mortal sin of despair.

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Our lead story today paints a shocking picture of how our lower and middle earners are bearing the full brunt of the austerity. Over the last year those earning between €17,543 and €20,000 paid more than double the previous year's tax. Those earning between €20,000 and €30,000 pay over one third more. And those between €40,000 and €50,000 pay nearly a quarter more.

This is the group defined some years ago by Eoghan Harris in this paper as "the coping class" or recently by The Irish Times as "the squeezed middle". Whatever the definition, there is no getting away from the fact that this most respectable class of the community has been disenfranchised.

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