Tuesday 23 January 2018

James Fitzsimons: If our tax system was a pricey Formula 1 car it would seize up

Revenue is a glorified debt collection agency but it needs a shake-up to fulfil its potential,

James Fitzsimons

It's been five Christmases, six budgets and two governments since the global economic crisis took hold. There will be no Christmas carols for some this year as they struggle under the financial burden they still carry. This time last year Revenue targeted pensioners for not paying enough tax on their State pensions. The losses were estimated at €40m to €50m a year. Leinster House is full of clowns and their advisers are no better.

Public administration is costing billions of euro that we cannot afford. It's like owning a Formula 1 car that you can't take out for a spin. It is capable of more than you need. What's the point if it's not maintained and you don't have a track to run it on? Get something you can use.

There are three things that need to be done to get back on track. Balance the Budget, reform the public sector and make the tax system fair. The first is on the way, but it is destroying everything else. Public sector reform is a joke. The tax system is crucial to sustaining what we can afford, but those in charge are shooting what fish are left in the barrel when they should be plugging the holes.

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