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We were all happy to ride the bond wagon

I hope we sent a thank-you card with the cheque to the bondholders.

The cheap money they loaned us enabled many landowners to sell land at high prices and developers to build and sell homes and commercial properties to those of us who decided to buy them.

It enabled bank shareholders pay capital gains and income tax on their profits.

The bondholders also helped those who, for years, demanded their own homes on Joe Duffy's 'Liveline' and other shows; and helped parents to get money they could loan to their children as deposits.

It also enabled the government to collect almost 50pc in various forms of taxation from all those who chose to buy these properties and 20pc in Capital Gains Tax from those who sold the land.

They also collected 12.5pc in Corporation Tax from the developers and construction-related businesses.

The ready loans also facilitated the collection of massive amounts of VAT at 21pc from retail businesses and VRT and fuel taxes on booming car sales and honeymoons in the Seychelles.

If the bonds had been expensive, our govern-ment couldn't have done all this.

It's amazing that so many wish to blame them for the cheap money and not pay them back. Some believe there will be no future consequences for such action.

We are an ungrateful lot.

The problem then -- and it still remains so -- is how the government managed to run up an annual spending budget of €55bn in such a short period of time.

I like to call it 'bribing us with our future income.'

The record shows that all political parties outbid each other with 'our own money' and profited from this with electoral support.

The opposition is still doing it in its promises to "cut spending less and over a longer time period" than this Government and -- best of all -- the clarion calls to "tax the rich" and protest on the streets.

This Government is also doing it by dragging out the cuts while still borrowing almost €18bn per year.

We should write "thanks big fella" on the card and follow it up with a thank-you call from a public phone -- if we can find one.

Liam Treacy

Phepotstown House

Kilcock, Co Meath













Irish Independent