Monday 18 December 2017

Government must know that it couldn't pick a worse time

THE 20 remaining days of this month of March will tell us a lot about the fate of this Government. And the Local Property Tax, of which we will learn much more from this week onwards, will play a big role.

Over the past week the Revenue Commissioners has taken centre stage as the administrators and collectors of the new tax. This is a clear calculation by Government that 'the people of middle Ireland' will not mess with the Revenue, to avoid deeper inquiries into their affairs.

There is an unarguable logic attached to that assumption. But opponents of the tax will be hoping for a backlash among the public – a chance to say that the Government, via Revenue, is over-playing its hand and being a bully. The politics of the property tax is very simple on one level. Fine Gael and Labour have to grit their teeth and get on with it – and in the process, they will remind Fianna Fail that they caused the economic horrors that made it inevitable.

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