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Austerity Budget 2012 Key Points and Budget Protest

category national | workers issues | news report author Wednesday December 05, 2012 22:21author by T Report this post to the editors

Property taxes, PRSI increases, Children allowance cuts

The key points so far are increases to PRSI working out at about €250 per year per person. Children allowance cut by €10. Property tax set around €500 per year for a Celtic Tiger era house. 10 cents on the pint.

Cuts to electricity allowance and telephone allowance for OAPs. The devil will be in the details.

March to the Dail this evening for the Budget 2012 protest. Image courtsey WSM photo stream
March to the Dail this evening for the Budget 2012 protest. Image courtsey WSM photo stream

From about 4pm onwards today there was a protest outside Leinster House where a large crowd had gathered.

The PR machinery in the weeks leading up to this budget were constantly warning us it was going to be tough. The idea seemed to make it sound worse so that if it was slightly better than the worse conditions then people wouldn't think it was so bad and hence would be less inclined to complain afterwards. However everyone will be hit and the initial figures suggests it will be anywhere from a minimum of €250 to well over €1000 when all is considered.

Some of the key elements are:

1. Children allowance cut by €10 per month. Drops to €130 from €140.
2. Property tax at 0.18% up to €1m home. For average Dublin home of say €250,000 this is €450 per year. And rate is 0.25% for house valued over €1m
3. PRSI -abolition of the weekly PRSI allowance for workers. Estimated average worker to pay an extra €264 per year
4. 10 cents on the pint of beer, cider and spirits and cigarettes by same. €1 on a bottle of wine.
5. Third level student admin fee currently at €2,250 to rise by €250 pear year for three years. So will be €2500 in Sept 2013, €2750 in Sept 2014 and €3000 in Sept 2015
6. Cuts to electricity allowance for OAPs.
7. Cuts to telephone allowance for OAPs. Reduced by 50% to €9.50 per month
8. Prescription charges for medical card holders from 50 cent to €1.50
9. Cuts to respite care grant by by €325 to €1,375 per annum.
10. No cuts to corporate welfare as the corporation tax will remain unchanged
11. Capital Acquisitions Tax up from 30% to 33%
12. Civil service numbers to be cut by 38,000 to 282,500 by 2014 from a peak of 320,000 in 2008
13. Duration of Jobseeker's Benefit reduced by three months, from a year to nine months
14. Maternity Benefit to be taxed from 1 July 2013
15. Threshold for Drug Payment Scheme increased from €132 to €144 per month. The threshold was €90 only a few years back
16. Motor Tax rates to increase. For 1.0 litre increases €14, up to 1.1 litre by €21, up to 1.2 litre by €23, up to 1.3 litre by €25, up to 1.4 litre by €27, up to 1.5 litre by €29 and so on.

Some key points to note:

Corporate influence: It was reported this evening that Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said Labour’s proposal for a 3 per cent increase in the universal social charge (USC) for those earning €100,000 was rejected on the advice of the multinational sector. -Well what do you know? So who is calling the shots here? Certainly not our "elected" representatives but the corporate sector who have bought have sold politicians for many decades now.-

100 Garda stations to close: Yet the government still finds the money and resources to have a huge Garda and general security presence up at the Gas terminal in Bellanaboy in Mayo to help secure the giveaway of the estimated €540 billion worth of natural gas which was handed over for free to international corporations (e.g. Shell) by successive corrupt politicians from Ray Burke to Bertie Ahern. -Lesson to learn is that government don't really care about crime and people being robbed and assault. They put their money where their mouth is and that is protecting large corporations rob us of our resources and give them huge leeway when they pollute.

Deferral Scheme Allowed for Property Tax = An Inheritance Tax for the poor: According to the Local Property Tax document put out by the government, you will be able to defer payment if you are unable to pay. BUT it says:

Interest will be charged on deferred amounts but at a lower rate (i.e. 4% per annum) than the rate charged in default cases (i.e. 8% per annum). The deferred amount, including interest, will be a charge on the property. Deferred property taxes and interest will have to be discharged on the sale/transfer of the property.

What this really means is that if an OAP has an house and they can't pay then when the house is transferred to their children for inheritance the money will be taken then. For the top 20% of this country this situation is extremely unlikely to occur. However for those nearer the bottom, it means the one chance they might have in their life of getting a few quid will be taken from them and the probability of this will be higher the poorer they are. Now if there is say a person (probably middle aged) caring for a parent who is unable to afford the new property tax and that carer is also not in good financial health and is living at home then when they go to get that home when the parent dies, the state will want its slice and that person is likely to be kicked out of their own family home especially if they don't have the cash to pay.

So take an average house in Dublin valued at say €250k -perhaps built in the 1970s. The property tax would be close to €500 per year. After 10 years of deferral, this is not just 10x€500 but accounting for the interest rate would be about €6243. For 15 years it is: €10412. In effect an older person who can't pay ends up effectively transferring that tax burden onto their siblings. But again it must be stressed this situation is only going to realistically affect people already at or below the poverty line.

Dail Proceedings for Budget Day can be found below. It covers the speeches and some details of the budget.
http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2012120500001?opendocument

And Budget documents are here: http://budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2013/2013.aspx


Stephen Donnelly makes a compelling speech against budget cuts


budget_dec2012_protest_pic1.jpg

Protest outside the Dail on Budget 2012 night (Weds 5th Dec 2012)
Protest outside the Dail on Budget 2012 night (Weds 5th Dec 2012)

author by newsmediapublication date Thu Dec 06, 2012 03:41Report this post to the editors

-Well what do you know? So who is calling the shots here? Certainly not our "elected" representatives but the corporate sector who have bought have sold politicians for many decades now.-

Let's not waste words , our 'elected politcians' are parasitic weasel-livered trash who are happy to drive their own people back into the dark ages.

I can say no more.

author by Blake - Budget 2012publication date Thu Dec 06, 2012 14:22Report this post to the editors

Why?

Probably because they are most likely to be immobile ie they are beyond emigration because their home is in negative equity, the prospect of paying an auctioneering to rent it out while they emigrate is not feasible, their children are at school going age and most probably they opted for public service jobs with the intention of working full term ie what used to be known as the job for life.

Squeezed: every last drop of tax payment potential has befallen thanks to Government on these people.

Add to these the elderly and people with disabilities and they become targets like rabbits trapped by lamplight.

The property tax is about cartography of old. It is a means to knowing every family unit so the property tax is a means to that end. The person who bought the 3 bed semi detached in Offaly for £50,000 recently versus the one who paid £250,000 in Castleknock makes ask the question: house is a house but the differential in value because of locations makes it a most inequitable tax.

People who live in Fatima Mansions who have worked in the community employment schemes, who have taken the route of back to education and who have gone on to third level see their hopes dashed as the promised Public Private Partnerships become but a memory of the arrogance of Celtic Tiger Ireland. O'Devaney Gardens faces depletion of families and disbursement of communities instead of what was promised. Their losses are compounded because promises have no hope of every happening now.

Starbucks, Google and the tax breaks to the multi-nationals yes created employment in Ireland but Ireland has provided these companies with an excellent infrastructure and an educated labour force. This would not be the case if they say chose Zimbabwe, if it offered no corporation tax at all. The truth is an extra 1%-2% would be acceptable and the yield significant. Also what about a financial transaction tax. The Irish lived for many years from the remittances from America, now we have immigrants living in our country who send remittances home, a tax charge on these amounts and all other transactions makes common sense.

What are the Government commitments to build employment? Are we seriously going to address our existing housing stock, revoke the craftmanship ethos that ones provided employment via ANCO and get people back working, studying, doing something. The problem in Europe is that there are too many young people out of work. They call them NEETs (sorry I don't know what this stands for) but no doubt it is derogatory.

Blake

author by Elricpublication date Thu Dec 06, 2012 15:20Report this post to the editors

Hound Coalition TDs, especially Labour. Phone them, email them, jam up their clinics, get in their faces.

noohow.jpg

author by leftypublication date Thu Dec 06, 2012 17:40Report this post to the editors

Stop calling this a "property tax"

It's not really a property tax at all.

It's a FAMILY HOME TAX as Pearse Doherty rightly described it in the Dail yesterday and as I've previously described it in comments on this website. (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/101606 )

The Troika mandated a "site value tax" not this abomination.

Not that I agree with the troika much but a site value tax as I understand it is a fairer proposal than just targetting households. FG had the choice and they chose to do it this way in keeping with their pro corporate / pro rich "fuck the poor" philosophy.

Amongst the political waffling, Stephen Donnelly delivered an excellent short speech in the dail after the budget. Well worth catching.

others to note were Ming and even Mick wallace had penned some decent words, though he looked very much as if the fight was knocked out of him.

author by wageslave - (personal capacity)publication date Thu Dec 06, 2012 21:38Report this post to the editors

Somebody sent me this as a response to the budget aspirations of FG.
I think we all need a laugh in the face of all this!


author by Tpublication date Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:15Report this post to the editors

The PDF document located here: http://budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2013/Documents/Expenditure...I.pdf contains estimates for government expenditure for 2013. There are four parts to this and the rest of the documents can be found here: http://budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2013/2013.aspx . It gives a rough breakdown for each department.

I think it is well worth saving a copy and looking through it because collectively we all should be watching where the money goes. Ideally a much greater level of detail would be required and if this was paired with similar figures showing where tax is coming from and how much is gone and has gone to the banks then that would be a tiny bit of progress.

author by Anonpublication date Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:31Report this post to the editors

The Banner Brigade from Mayo were once again outside the muppet puppet house yesterday from noon until late. The cops cited a Section 21 order which they claimed was signed by Gannon of Pearse St station (known as 'Soap the Rope' during his time as Shell's cop in Mayo) to clear the space outside this bastion of proto fascism - when asked for sight of the claimed order the response was the usual - get out or you'll be arrested. As it happened, the Banner Brigade maintained their blanket coverage at the front of the muppet puppet house which meant the state broadcaster couldn't do any outside reports from there given the dictat that the giveaway banners cannot appear on any RTE coverage!

Is it not past time that EVERYBODY starts to connect the dots in regard to the continued giveaway of our resources and the increasing burden placed on the people of Ireland who rightfully own these resources.

indy_dail_budget2.jpg

indy_dail_budget1.jpg

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by Gale Vogel. - Birds Eye Viewpublication date Sat Dec 08, 2012 15:46Report this post to the editors

Cuts to civil service to be down to about 280,000 by 2014. This is still an artificially high number of public servants. Long considered a right, a job is a privelege, no one can deny this right. The respnsibility associated with this right is born on the individual, to both seek for themselves and honour their appointment. We should all do the best that we can do. I do not have a right to an income without attending to my responsibility, that these responsibilities are wide ranging and include carers in this society is supported by the state. This support is enshrined in our consitution, where when carers can no longer care the state takes this responsibility. The reduction of the carers allowance is therefore encouraging of their inability to continue to care, the costs then may be far greater than the allowance and may become the burden of the state.

The overall emphasis of this or any budget and the focus of the Irish media is on the money. There is also a strong and very needed emphasis on the people by the press. That this human element is almost wholely ignored by our administration is abysmal. Talking with one self proclaimed victim of the Irish state in Dublin this saturday he stated "we should stand up and do something, we should refuse to cooperate, we should bring the f...ing system crashing and take what's rightly ours." he paused long enough for me to move on, but what is rightly ours? I'm assuming that what he referred to is the control of our own lives and how we react to the onslaught of our administration. There has been growing over the past years a divide in our society between those in 'secure pensionable jobs' as the civil service was once called and the softly sinking and weak private supporters of all we have come to accept, our society. This divide needs to be closed, that understanding from both sides, the suffering brought about by an average reduction of 14% in income for those in the public service is real. It may to those in the private sector appear of little consequence, them suffering an average of 20%, many suffered a complete loss of income and the associated loss of dignity. It is not about money, it is about people. Money is merely a convenient supporting mechanism for society and community. The administration is too a support for society and community without which there may well be collapse. With that being supported, the food producers, service providers, technicians, innovators and so forth by the administration there is a inherent cooperation that works well. The development of a divide in this threatens collapse. We must all accept our resonsibility and attent to those being supported, and through taxes to those supporting in a balanced manner. The administration dictates this balance and in this there is a vested interest in protecting more their own corner. There is a failing in the administration support, damaged infrastructure in the poor condition of roads is a symptom of there being insufficient funds. There is insufficient funds to carry out the physical service while there remains above average (14% reduction only) funds available to maintain employed those who cannot carry out the service.

Paying above average to achieve less is not sustainable. We need to achieve more.

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