Sir, "The people that haven't paid will be responsible for cuts in essential services and local government , if they don't pay between now and the end of the year." This statement by minister Phil Hogan at the recent Mac Gill Summer School hardly tells the whole truth!
He was referring to the fact that at least 800.000 householders (possibly 1.5 million people) have not paid the latest stealth tax on their properties.
In fact it's the government who have decided that 'essential services' will be cut. To blame the ordinary person who does not have his / her hands on the nation's purse strings is surely disingenuous.
The money for local government and essential services is already being paid into the exchequer as it was over the last few years by the hard pressed citizens. The fact that our lords and masters have decided to raid the said exchequer and leave a shortfall for local government doesn't change that fact. There are other courses of action the government could take. There is still a lot of money in this country. Some have quite a lot, more have very little. A little logic and fairness would go a long way in curing our problems.
Why a minister can make such a statement and lay blame where is it not deserved, namely on those who cannot see why they have to pay twice for the same services and go unchallenged, is the main reason the Irish people feel so utterly helpless and detached from those in power.
People need to challenge their local Dail Deputies at every opportunity. They are definitely not feeling the pinch and don't always seem to have enormous regard for their constituents. Words are cheap. They need to feel the people's pain. As long as they are insulated from cuts they will not care enough to understand the plight of ordinary families labouring under this penal regime.
Michael Noonan our finance minister needs to produce something worthwhile for us in his negotiations in Europe. We are still waiting for the ' big prize'. We are in danger once again of being left to last when all the rescue money is doled out. We may then be told their isn't enough money for us. We got a raw deal from the start. Time to put Ireland first, Michael. Your country needs you! (to act).
Finally a word for Minister Phil Hogan. I quote deputy Peter Matthews, his Fine Gael colleague who recently said on 'Tonight with Vincent Browne': "Just because something is legal doesn't make it right ". How true Peter! Back to the drawing board Phil. Sincerley, Gerry Cournane, Tralee.