Taxing our family home by 33pc when we die is pure greed
I read the article on taxing the family home by 33pc when you die or downsize (Irish Independent, August 3), and it came as no surprise. The tax system in Ireland is incredibly greedy, and it is being driven by faceless civil servants who appear to have no idea of what life is like in the normal world. Just who are these people?
It would be very interesting to have some names of those who are involved in deciding to take even more taxes from the ordinary working family.
Mind you, it would also give scope for increases in the gold-plated civil service pensions and lifetime job guarantees. That a minister should even contemplate this is scandalous.
Like most ordinary workers, my wife and I spent 20 years on a 15pc mortgage and struggled hard at times to pay for our only asset.
It bugs me to think that some pen-pusher can suggest a capital gains tax of over 30pc on our home on top of all the other taxes we have to pay.
I would suggest that all home owners should find out what their local TD thinks of this, and if he agrees with it then vote him or her out. Also join any protest or march against this, because it is people power, and voting power, which will defeat this very greedy suggestion by civil servants.
All home owners should do all that is possible to ensure this Government will not be allowed to take our homes, and to take away from what we can leave for our children. Greed is changing our society and not for the better. Do what you can to stop this now.
World needs some adult leaders
What kind of a world are we living in when the difference between men and boys comes down to the size of their nuclear toys?
In the Oval Office, you have a neophyte with the emotional range of an adolescent, at record low opinion rates, desperate for a distraction.
In North Korea, you have an unstable despot desperate to show he must be taken seriously. Where are the adults when you need them?
Dalkey, Co Dublin
Same-sex marriage 'survey' a waste
The Australian government is going to spend $122m (€82m) to conduct a postal vote about same-sex marriages, or it's really just a survey, as they might not accept the result and some may still vote against the people's wishes.
This is a concerning approach for many reasons. There is a clear support for the change, both in the public and with the elected officials, although there is, as always, a vocal minority who oppose it, mostly on religious grounds. They need not fear, it will be permitted, not required. Politicians are elected representatives of the people and should follow their constituents' wishes.
A second concern is that the money could be used for the defence forces or for hospitals or to hire 2,000 teachers for a year or 50 teachers for life to help slow the decline of student standards. People's tax money should not be wasted confirming what is already evident.
The world is changing and people need to accept this rather than spending millions to try and slow down progress.
Box Hill, Victoria, Australia
Anti-Semitism and Shakespeare
Many Irish Junior Cert students' first introduction to the Jewish people is the anti-Semitic Shakespearean play 'The Merchant of Venice' being taught as part of their English curriculum.
It depicts a Jewish usurer, Shylock, in the 16th century who mourns the loss of his daughter to a Christian, and his jewels and ducats that she took with her in equal measure.
It propagates Jewish stereotypes a lot more than an opinion piece in the 'Sunday Times' by a journalist known for his uniquely reflective, honest and at times provocative articles.
Can Guernsey solve our problem?
The island of Guernsey is not part of the UK but rather a possession of the British crown. Nor is it part of the EU but is deemed to be part of the European community for purposes of trade.
Have the DUP, Sinn Féin and Mr Varadkar an argument here?
Fergus M Jordan,
The State should buy Carton House
Some 25 years ago, I suggested to then-Taoiseach Charles Haughey that Ireland should acquire Carton House because of its historical significance, extensive parklands and proximity to such a huge portion of our population, who could enjoy it as they enjoy the Phoenix Park and Farmleigh.
Alas, nothing came of my suggestion at that time and Carton fell into private ownership and some of the superb walled estate was used for "executive houses", golf courses, etc. While Farmleigh was a welcome addition to the Phoenix Park due to its physical proximity, its historical significance is of no consequence compared to that of Carton.
The opportunity to acquire the unique Carton House and its remaining estate now presents itself again and, because of its great historical value to Irish history, I would urge the State to buy it for the people. Perhaps the house itself and its immediate grounds could be used as an official residence or a museum or tourist mecca, while the rest of the superb grounds could be kept as a cherished public park facility as Dublin city grows and expands, inevitably westwards.
No other house or estate in Ireland compares to Carton, in terms of its history, its location, its extent and its current excellent physical quality. This opportunity to acquire and preserve this treasure intact for the nation is unlikely to recur, so please let us now use a tiny fraction of the AIB sale proceeds to do the right thing for the people.
John Blake Dillon,
Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Pay gap is in eye of the beholder
I thoroughly agree with pay parity within RTÉ. However, I don't believe that the women should be paid the same as the men, but I firmly believe that the men should be paid the same as the women.
Monasterevin, Co Kildare
Healy-Rae away with the fairies
Danny Healy-Rae, being of the view that fairies are interfering with the quality of roads, should remind us not to always expect the local authority to simply wave a magic wand in these matters.
Beaumont, Dublin 9
Job security and mortgages
Regarding the homelessness crisis, it's often seen through the prism of a shortage of supply. Mentioned less often is the issue of job security.
With contracts becoming shorter and less secure, fewer people than ever are in a position to commit to a 20- or 30-year mortgage. This needs more attention.
Karen Ni Lorcain,
Parteen, Co Clare