Wednesday 17 January 2018

We need our own Warren Buffetts to lead by example

The rich should pay more tax while middle and lower-income groups deserve a tax cut, writes James Fitzsimons

When Enda Kenny confirmed we are in for more tax hikes, he turned off the light at the end of the tunnel. Having chosen to do nothing to fix the problems in their own Government departments, ministers instead want to rant on about the great opportunities that might come from abroad. If we hadn't heard the same old claptrap for the last three years, we might be inclined to believe them. Enough with the fairytales! We want something tangible and no more tax hikes that we cannot afford.

While Greece is destined to default, its most recent round of austerity measures has shown what is in store. They've put 30,000 public servants on notice to find a job in the next 12 months or be sacked. This is in spite of the fact that they have jobs for life. There are twice as many public servants in Greece as there are in Ireland. But per head of population, the numbers are similar. If the same criteria were applied here, we would be looking for 15,000 redundancies. It is estimated that 8,500 public servants will take advantage of the generous voluntary scheme that our Government has implemented. In Greece, pensions above €1,200 a month will be cut by 20 per cent, and some by 40 per cent. The same is inevitable here because we have ignored the extent of the problem.

So of course we will be asked to pay more tax in the next Budget. How else will we pay for the sweetheart deals that the numbskulls have implemented? When those in charge cannot balance their own books, they transfer the problem to the taxpayer. It's a pity they couldn't be more sympathetic to those on whom they have dumped the burden. Instead, like Pontius Pilate, they washed their hands of it. Even if the new government is better than the last, it remains ineffective, as the powers-that-be pander to the whims of international money markets. Even the IMF is not independent enough to be aloof from the influence of international financiers. Their main brief is to make sure that financial services continue to function. That means they are under the influence of the world's largest banks whose funds they use.

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