Saturday 10 December 2016

Every time the exchequer needs a cash injection the same people are bled dry

Published 24/04/2014 | 02:30

Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny driving a tough agenda with cuts. 'The scale of deductions is staggering.' Photo: Collins
Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny driving a tough agenda with cuts. 'The scale of deductions is staggering.' Photo: Collins

CAST an eye over your pay slip. The scale of deductions is staggering: income tax, PRSI, the Universal Social Charge, plus a mandatory pension contribution in many cases. Together, they carve an ouch! into anyone's income.

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Factor in the property tax, bin charges, the health levy, that 2pc insurance surcharge because of Sean Quinn's adventures and now the new water tax. How's your pain threshold bearing up? Add VAT at 23pc to the mix (compared with 20pc in France and Britain, 19pc in Germany, 21pc in Spain and 22pc in Italy), banking charges, and toll fees on top of road tax. Only one conclusion can be drawn: Irish taxpayers are the gift that keeps on giving to the exchequer.

Our after-tax income is under constant attack. And there's no sign of a let-up. By the time we pay the utility bills and put some food on the table, slim pickings are left. No wonder a substantial number of people are only one pay slip away from sliding under. Don't be fooled by promises of tax cuts in the next Budget. Taxes are headed one way and that's up. Even now, almost six years into an austerity programme, the squeeze continues. If in doubt, look out your window. Those water meter installers on your street are not paving the way for any easing of the tax burden. It explains why residents of the Ashbrook Estate in Togher, Co Cork, set up blockades against them.

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