Sunday 17 November 2019

Fleecing the old

• How often can you shear a sheep before you draw blood and kill it? The pensioners have now come into the cross-hairs of what passes for government. "The pensioners must pay their fair share" bleat the useless and inept.

Would those be the same pensioners who, in their prime, paid a 2pc levy for old Joe Moore's PMPA when it went belly up? Would those be the people who paid in excess of 65pc tax plus PRSI to help keep Charlie in Charvet shirts and champagne along with the blustering, bungling FitzGerald and Bruton in the horrible 1980s?

Now they are about to be assailed once more by men who think nothing of paying advisers the guts of €150,000 a year to "advise" them. Is that the "advice" they get?

They sit in a Dail alongside a TD who cheated the revenue of a million euro plus, who draws €48,000 under the risible title "leader's allowance" as a one-man band of ineptness, and see nothing wrong with that.

So if you want to make any more cuts do the following:

Stop all allowances to ESB employees for the generous amount of electricity they get free gratis. I don't see my local garage attendant getting a free fill-up for his work.

Tax at 20pc the largesse bestowed on farmers in this country by the taxpayers of the EU.

Everyone should pay tax at source, including them.

Get rid of the county councils' waste on travel, expenses and trips to foreign climes to see how Santa shepherds his deer in Norway. Get rid of those damned "advisers", paid from the public purse to whisper in politicians' ears.

John Cuffe
Dunboyne, Co Meath

• Your front-page headline (Sept 15) telling us that the Government is planning to cut free travel and electricity allowances, etc for the elderly and the least well-off in our society -- complete with quotes from a "government source" -- comes at the end of a week when both the Taoiseach and Tanaiste stated that they did not want a repeat of last year where kites where flying daily and were the source of great anxiety for those struggling on meagre means.

And isn't it strange that we never get kites flying telling us that the Government is considering introducing a couple of more tax bands to target high-end income, or is going to cap all government salaries at €120,000, or is going to cut in half the fabulous pensions being paid to "retired" politicians, etc?

I have now reached the conclusion that this Government gets a bizarre kick out of terrifying pensioners and the least well-off. And it must be said that the media are conspicuous in their willingness to oblige them in their fetish.

I have a weird notion that next we will get a "leak" from a "government source" telling us that any chosen means of euthanasia will be offered to pensioners at a reduced rate as part of a speeding up of the culling process.

Jim O'Sullivan
Rathedmond, Sligo

Irish Independent

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