independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Mere financial conjuring won't get the economy back on track

Sir, So, the promissory notes can be paid back over a longer period. A success of sorts has been achieved. But is it a success? The government is still asking people to pay back money they never owed? What kind of moralists run the ECB?

 "We never asked for a write down", we are told. That is probably right, as you only look for a write down on an actual debt. It was never our debt, so we should have asked for its removal entirely. Be that as it may, what does it all mean to our everyday lives?

Will the domestic economy improve in 2013. No, it won't; nor in the next three to five years. How can I be so sure of this? It is quite simple, really. You see people now have less money every year and they will have even less over the next few years. If the ordinary Joe doesn't spend then the domestic economy can't recover. It's simple economics - less income means less spending .

No doubt, many of your readers are perusing their larger electricity and private health insurance charges for the new year. Quite a number have not renewed their health insurance, simply because they haven't the money. Their bills have arrived and everything is 'on the up'. Motor tax is up, licences are dearer and dirt tax is up and, as I mentioned, health insurance and electricity are up. Many are also bemoaning the reduction in children's allowance and other social welfare benefits, which have just come into force. Pensioners have less free units of electricity and will struggle with the increase in charges in a bigger way.

The price of coal is going up in May because of the carbon tax, possibly by three euro a bag. The following May it is going up again with another carbon tax increase. Now people pay about €19 for a bag of smokeless coal, so in another 15 months they will be paying at least €25 a bag. This will inevitably hurt poorer families. How can you justify a carbon tax on smokeless coal, which is already dearer than regular coal? We are paying more to help the environment and now we are having a carbon tax foisted on us. Necessity will make many burn regular coal again. Who can blame them, they have to heat their homes to keep their children warm. The natural law surely supersedes the laws of any government!

Refuse charges will increase again this year and then we will have the wealth tax - I mean the property tax - in the latter part of the year, which will really hit home next year, when it will double. Even people on tiny incomes are liable for this wealth tax. Hang on, I nearly forgot the water charges steaming down the track. What kind of moralists run this country?

Inflation continues to rise yearly. With all these increases and with workers on frozen wages, there is little hope of any recovery. Add all of this to our massive 'other' bank and fiscal debt and you will see where I am coming from. So, people with less and less are going to revive our flat domestic economy? It must be some magic we don't yet appreciate. Then again it is said that all magic is really deception.

We need to get our bank debt and our fiscal debt spread out like the promissory notes and get more money back in people's pockets to have any chance of getting out of recession . Back to the drawing board Michael!

Sincerely,

Gerry Cournane,

Tralee.

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