Thursday 22 March 2018

Kim Bielenberg: Wine-guzzling mansion owners unite against Bolshie Baldy Noonan

SHORT of imposing a tax on Twink’s "fur coat and no knickers’’, this Budget could not have been more draconian for the beleaguered wealthy citizens of South County Dublin.

One imagines the housekeepers of Shrewsbury and Ailesbury roads on speed-dial to their absentee employers as rumours spread of Noonan’s dreaded Mansion Tax yesterday


It must have spoilt many a late lunch on the Cote D’Azur.

Based on recent property sales on Shrewsbury Road, a typical householder could expect to pay just under €12,000 in property tax alone.

So what of Gayle Killilea, the sometime gossip columnist who is still believed to be the beneficial owner of Walford on Shrewsbury , bought for a record price of €58 million in 2005 ?

The value of the house has plummeted, but property analysts believe it could still fetch €10m. If Ms Killilea is the one liable for the tax on the house, the bill could be as high as €22,500.

If the wealthy homeowners of Ballsbridge, Rathgar and Dalkey almost choked on their fruit scones at the thought of the communistic Mansion tax, they were in open revolt after the imposition of €1 on a bottle of wine.

They were left reaching for the claret bottle by Bolshevik Baldy Noonan as they poured out their sorrows on social media.

One imagines Porchlight processions around Killiney in protest with slow-moving convoys of 4 X 4 Jeeps and Jaguars.

Gabriel Cooney, the owner of the On the Grapevine wine shop in Dalkey, seemed to sense something in the air yesterday and saw the punitive wine duties coming.

Earlier in the day, he tweeted, “If anyone is looking for me I will be under the desk in the foetal position.’’

And then when news of the €1 hike on wine filtered out, he announced: “Anyone want to buy a wine shop?’’

Twitter users showed that repressive wine duty meant rather more to them than matters related to social welfare or obscure pension measures.

One has to admire the depth of the analysis. Dr Maurice Gueret tweeted: “Price of plonk up 20%. Price of La Réserve de Leoville Barton up 2%. That's Labour in Government.”

To add to the woes of the affluent middle classes, that little upstart Howlin announced that the Government is to further cut subsidies to fee-paying schools. They could have to pack over 20 into a class, and who knows - rugby trips to Biarritz may have to be curtailed next year.

Some Budget measures defy explanation. In 2010, Noonan himself ridiculed the late Brian Lenihan for cutting child benefits to third children. Noonan asked: “Did some third child beat you up coming home from school as a young fella?’’

In the latest Budget, Noonan hiked the price of 20 cigarettes by 10 cent, but increased the price of roll-your-own tobacco by 50 cent. That’s one way of getting back at Luke Ming Roll-Your-Own Flanagan.

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