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Monday 23 October 2017

Taking our medicine: five bitter pills we've swallowed at the troika's behest

Emmet Oliver

- A property tax is to be re-introduced, although it is beginning initially as a household charge of €100 a year.

- Making Irish taxpayers pay up for all senior bonds in the Irish banks, even Anglo Irish. The IMF/EU insist this is necessary for financial stability reasons.

- Long-established agreements on pay and conditions in several industries, including retail, catering, cleaning, hairdressing, hotels, are in the process of being ripped up.

- An ambitious plan to sell off state assets is under way, with a minority stake in the ESB already on the blocks. Bord Gais is soon expected to follow.

- Child benefit payments have been reduced with cuts of €10 per child in the last Budget. This measure was specifically referred to in the first bailout document.l Water charges are scheduled to be introduced for all households and the entire system will be controlled by a new water utility company.

- The age at which people will qualify for the state pension is to be increased to 66 years in 2014, 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028.

- Public sector numbers are due to shrink further with a widespread amalgamation of state agencies also on the cards.

- For Ireland's professions, major changes are under way, with prices expected to fall and the numbers in these professions expected to increase. The legal sector is already opposing the reforms.

- Car tax is expected to be broadened, with even low-emission vehicles expected to pay more.

Irish Independent

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