THE CORPORATE world needs to pay its fair share in taxation before people's homes are taxed according to a county councillor who said she had personally paid more tax in the last eight years than an international coffee chain had paid in Ireland in the same period.
Cllr Ruth Coppinger ( SP) claimed that figures that have come before the British Parliament show that Starbucks only paid around €35,000 to the Irish exchequer in corporate taxation since 2005. She said that she as an individual worker, had paid out more in the same period to the taxman. 'If I was in the Labour Party, then that's who I would be targeting,' she told the January meeting of Fingal County Council during a debate on the proposed property tax to be introduced later this year. She said that the property tax was not progressive and did not take into account, people's ability to pay. She said that the argument that it was part of 'broadening the tax base' was 'the most pukey statement I have ever heard'. Cllr Coppinger's argument about corporate taxation was supported by Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Cian O'Callaghan who said he also favoured a wealth tax being introduced before a property tax. He said a greater contribution from the corporate world was 'not even on the table' in discussions about revenue raising and he questioned why that was. The Mayor of Fingal said he would have preferred the property tax to be based on site valuation and he said that Government measures had been hitting people on middle and lower incomes more than those on higher incomes and that 'has to change'. Cllr Kieran Dennison (FG) said he supported charges for local services but he did not support a property tax that redistributed funds from Dublin to other councils around the country. Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) said that his party had put a fully costed alternative to the tax to the Government and it had been rejected. He predicted huge opposition to the tax but at the same time condemned the Socialist Party campaign against the household charge which he said had only succeeded in doubling the amount due from those who had not yet paid. Cllr May McKeon (NP) said that the tax as proposed had to be opposed. She said nobody would object to paying local service charges but they did not want their homes taxed. ' You can't ask the people of Ireland today to pay what they cannot pay,' she concluded.