Madam – This is an open apology to all the businesses and individuals in the country who have suffered a loss of income as a result of a cutback in spending since 2008 by our family, comprising two adults and four children.
In addition to higher taxes, our income has fallen as a result of reduced spending by people in our own business. We have to cut back on extra curricular activities for our children. More weekend nights out are being switched to nights in over a few cans of beer purchased from the supermarket. The television went in October. With another reduction in child benefit and a property tax, there will be another fall in our own disposable income in 2013. There is the prospect of another drop in turnover in the business as some of our customers reduce their spending with us brought about by falls in their own disposable income. We will be looking at further reductions in expenditure.
Like the vast majority of self-employed business owners, I work long hours to provide good service to our customers. I look at middle and higher public servants who, along with the politicians, have escaped the worst effects of the austerity measures. They look forward to guaranteed pensions in retirement, funded out of taxation, while avoiding the 0.6 per cent pension levy which the rest of us have to pay on private pension funds. Pay and increments are protected by the Croke Park agreement, negotiated by powerful trade unions, thereby increasing the burden on the rest of the community.
The domestic economy cannot grow when citizens' disposable income and spending are continually reduced. When are the powers that be in Dublin and Europe going to get the message that taxing a country out of a recession is never going to work?
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