Home tax bring us into line with Europe
AS the playwright George Bernard Shaw remarked in a different context, it is not the amount of money which matters, but the principle. The Cabinet has established the principle that Irish citizens must pay a tax simply for owning a house. The amount -- €100 a year in this case -- is largely irrelevant.
Put like that, one can understand the strident objections to the principle. The fact is, however, that Ireland is highly unusual -- perhaps unique in western Europe -- in having no tax on a person's home.
With a €7bn shortfall this year just on the day-to-day running of the country, it is hard to see how that peculiarity can continue. Existing taxes simply cover too narrow a base ever to provide the extra €10bn a year required by the national plan. Other sources of revenue are required.