Tuesday 6 December 2016

We have reached our tipping point

Published 15/05/2011 | 05:00

Unlike Neil Armstrong's 'small step for man, but giant leap for mankind', last week's employment initiative was -- even before the pensions furore erupted -- one small step for everyone. We should not be too dismissive about decisions such as cutting the VAT on hairdressing, for one good hairdresser adds more to the sum of human happiness than a thousand lawyers. But hairdressers aside, Mr Kenny's little initiative did at least serve to indicate just how serious a fix we are in.

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Michael Noonan's shifty raid on private pensions revealed that the State has finally reached the point where it must cannibalise the private resources of its citizens if it is to survive. The Coalition did attempt to ameliorate the impact of its furtive swoop by putting a cap of four years on the tax. But the intrinsically permanent nature of all new taxation is epitomised by the claim that the imposition of income tax in Britain to fund the Napoleonic wars would be a temporary measure.

And make no mistake about it, the desperate decision to put the State's hand into your pocket is only the start of it. No one should be under any illusions about the certainty that the Government will be putting its hand into your savings on an ever-more frequent basis to fund the reparations that their predecessors ceded to our brutal ECB overlords.

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