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A letter to Santa

• Dear Santa, I would dearly love to have our sovereignty back unless it's been really sold down the river by this stage, and if it's not too much to ask, a government that really means what it says and cares for its people before banks or bondholders.

This request is rather urgent now, because I attended a meeting in the Yard in Falcarragh recently.

This meeting was called by the 'Can't Pay Won't Pay' campaign. It is gathering momentum as people begin to realise that there is a very real likelihood that the only thing in their pockets from now on will be the jingle of small change.

If this thought sinks in sooner rather than later, the no pay campaign should take on juggernaut proportions.

I saw people there who I would suspect had never been to such an event before in their lives. The reason for this is that people are fearful of what lies ahead, and are extremely angry as it becomes clear what these taxes are really about.

It is not about upgrading or creating better services, which should be the case. It is about the unnecessary rewarding to the full of very wealthy investors who took chances on quadrupling their money in the booming Irish building bubble and lost.

People are swallowing anti-depressants at an alarming rate trying to cope with the stress of mounting bills.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan, on introducing the household charge, described it as a mere €2 per week.

It's very easy for him to count so little on €2 (he's on €160,000 plus a year) he probably loses four times that amount from the pockets of his tailor-made suits down the side of the leather sofas in the Dail every time he sits down.

Michael McDowell, when he was justice minister, paid an astronomical price using taxpayers' money for a prison site.

They'd better start building quick because there won't be enough prison space for all the poor people who cannot pay these indiscriminate and unfair taxes.

J Woods
Gort an Choirce, Dun na nGall

Irish Independent