Bart Murphy, who runs charity shops across the country, is to contest the next General Election and has vowed to donate all income to charities.
Known for his work with cancer sufferers in County Wexford, Foulksmills man Bart is fighting this election on a different platform from the 2011 election in Kildare North, which he contested on the commercial rates issue.
'I am going one step further this time,' he said.
For every vote he receives Bart will donate €1 to Wexford Hospice Home Care and if elected would give all his wages to charity. Bart said before any money could go to charity he would have to settle some bills he has with revenue and rates. Bart said he has contacted 94 TDs on the issue of what he describes as 'the almost criminal way commercial rates are charged. Only two replied: Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher said it was not an election issue and Frank O'Rourke said that Fianna Fáil were dealing with the issue, but of course they are not.'
Bart said he visited America recently and saw for myself how rates are dealt with there.
'It's a street tax and each customer pays a few per cent. Now this would be a proper and fair way of dealing with rates and property tax. If the TDs tell me it would not work, they'r wrong, of course it would work. You pay 20 cents for a plastic bag now. What would be different paying 20 cents street tax which would yield much more for local government than any form of rates will. The real facts are staggering,' he said. 'Only 73 per cent of businesses pay rates and of that 73 per cent less than 44 per cent are collected on time and 36 per cent is never collected. With a street tax every business would pay as it would be the same - just another tax, which of course it is, and it would have serious effect on rural Ireland and small business in general.'
Bart ran in the 2011 election and on keep Saint Luke's Hospital open. 'Thanks be to God the politicians woke up and today that hospital is still opened. If only I could get the same result this time many small shops and businesses would have a real chance,' he said.