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M30: Make Indymedia The Source For Struggle

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Monday March 23, 2009 22:04author by 1 of imc - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Your Reports, Your Pickets, Your Photos, Your Media.

featured image
Indymedia: Your Source For News On M30.
Potentially, thousands of workers will take to the streets of the country next Monday. Indymedia and DCTV are pooling resources to cover the day and are calling for you, the readership, to contribute your reports, photographs and videos to compile an accurate grassroots account of what could be a significant date in this latest round of the struggle for workers’ rights and social justice.

March 30, next Monday, has been named by ICTU as the day the public sector unions will close up shop and shut the country down, in protest against the imposition of the ‘pensions levy’ and the failure to honour recent pay agreements. However, private sector workers are also looking for an occasion to vent their anger and it is likely that the one-day shut down will receive some significant support from this quarter too.

Several affiliated unions have successfully balloted their members to support a walk out; the country's largest craft union the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union is to serve notice to the government and employers today. Meanwhile IMPACT, Ireland's largest public-sector trade union, has voted not to take part in M30. Sixty-five per cent of the membership voted to take part in the demonstration, however a 66% majority is needed to carry industrial action. The union's executive will meet tomorrow to consider the options.

Indymedia’s coverage of the run-up to the day begins with a feature article on this morning’s front page, focusing on the rejection by Dublin Bus workers of the Labour Relation Commission’s proposals. As the week unfolds, Indymedia and DCTV will be reporting it on the web and on Channel 802 on the Digital NTL network.

As well as looking for your contributions, we’ll be interviewing TU activists through the week and featurising a contribution by economist Michael Taft on tactics. To encourage debate, we’ll be inviting specific contributions from organisations such as WSM, People Before Profit, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Sinn Féin, Irish Socialist Network and the Labour Party before the end of the week. More importantly, we’ll be providing space to air discussions on tactics as they stand and ways in which the struggle can be brought forward. We’re inviting all workers, Trade Unionists and anyone pissed off or affected by cuts in our Public Services to get involved in this debate and to tell everyone how they are resisting the levy. We’re relaxing some of our editorial guidelines to permit the airing of more robust opinions. We will continue to deny space for fascist, sexist or racist opinions and will hide posts which descend to personal abuse.

On M30 itself members of the editorial collective will compile reports from around the country as they come in, providing both a valuable archive and the necessary space denied by the mainstream media to discuss the way this crisis is developing on national and international fronts. This cannot be done without your enthusiasm and your willingness to get your point across.

We’re calling out for reports from around the country on the day itself in any form and will have a dedicated army of editorial daleks taking your texts, emails, posts to the newswire and video footage.

In addition, we’re inviting interested parties to get in touch with the collective and volunteer editorial or other skills to the melting pot.

So, don’t hate the media, be the media!

Time for a general strike?
Time for a general strike?

author by 1 of imc - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Mon Mar 23, 2009 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

PRESS RELEASE
The country’s largest craft union, the 45,000 strong Technical Engineering and Electrical Union, is to serve strike notice on the Government and the other main employer bodies today, including IBEC, the CIF and the main electrical contracting bodies, the ECA and AECI. TEEU General Secretary Designate Eamon Devoy said that given the short amount of time left to serve notice and the large number of employments involved the union had decided to simplify the process by notifying the main employer organisations of the proposed industrial action on March 30th, in the same way that they notified us that government Departments or member companies would not be honouring the terms of the agreement.

“Everyone knows that it is a national strike and there are no precedents for this”, he said. “We have to take this action because of the failure of the Government and the employer bodies to heed the national day of protest on February 21st.

“There is only a week left for the Government and employers to enter into talks of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions ten point plan for a Social Pact and honour the terms of the national agreement they freely entered into last September. Failure to do so will result in unprecedented disruption across the economy with only the delivery of emergency services guaranteed.”

Ninety per cent of TEEU members voted in favour of the ICTU plan and 80 per cent for industrial action. While TEEU members are expected to participate in the ICTU National one-day protest on the 30th March, ongoing strike action will only take place in employments which have not honoured the terms of the agreement.

Related Link: http://www.teeu.ie/news/showtest.asp?id=267
author by Mark C - ASTI (Pers. Caps.)publication date Mon Mar 23, 2009 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Strike notice served to all schools today.

Strike notice served to all schools today.
Strike notice served to all schools today.

Related Link: http://www.asti.ie
author by Alan MacSimoinpublication date Mon Mar 23, 2009 22:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The vote by SIPTU members (cleaners, security, clerical, catering, computers, and other non-teaching grades) in Trinity College was very convincingly for joining the national strike.

Industrial Action (things like an overtime ban, non-co-operation with new systems, refusal to cover for absent colleagues, working strictly to what is in your contract, etc.)
For - Against - Spoiled
344 - 44 - 24

Strike Action
For - Against - Spoiled
288 -120 - 37

Branch action against pension levy (This was a ballot organised by our own branch for action specifically against the pension levy, as we don't have faith in the ICTU leadership not to sideline opposition to this pay cut. As our branch President put it in a letter to members, a yes vote will "indicate that the main reason for taking action on March 30th is to pursue a campaign to withdraw the levy. We hope that you will vote positively on this ballot to convey the strength of feeling on the issue and to allow us to pursue it as a live issue").
For - Against - Spoiled
351 - 50 - 4

Across the whole branch the vote was
* 80 percent voted for industrial action

* 88 percent voted for the Education Branch proposal for the industrial action to be focused on the withdrawal of the pension levy.

* 61 percent voted for strike action

Today strike notice was served on TCD, UCD, Dublin City University, and the National College of Art & Design. Strike committees are being formed to co-ordinate the action in each college.

I understand that the Irish Federation of University Teachers have voted 2:1 to also strike on March 30th. We are confident that our campus colleagues in UNITE and the craft unions will also vote to strike.

author by Non Strikerpublication date Mon Mar 23, 2009 23:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If Indymedia takes sides it will no longer be independent.

It will be the puppet of political hacks.

Simple as that.

(I know......this goes to the "hidden Articles" list..."Discussing Editorial Policy" I suppose.)

author by 1 of imcpublication date Mon Mar 23, 2009 23:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Balance is important, which is why we're relaxing our guidelines over the next week. Your comment would generally be hidden for commenting on editorial guidelines but it'll stay up for the time being.

Please try to keep your comments within the guidelines which can be found easily elsewhere on the site (hint: go to Publishing Guide in the top left hand corner under the Publish button).

author by Puzzledpublication date Mon Mar 23, 2009 23:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Apart from further damaging a country which is already holed below the water-line I wonder would somebody explain this:

What will the strike achieve?

author by Private Sector Headpublication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 02:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interestingly none of you 3 boyos have condemned the brown paper cesspool culture of tax evasion that has got us into this mess. What about all the billions of euros stashed away in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere? Charlie Haughey, Ray Burke, Liam Lawlor, Bertie Ahern etc. Plus that O'Reilly gangster. And don't get me started on that sanctionimous 'sewer Bono' who loves to lecture us on how we should live. What about paying your taxes 'sewer Bono'? And before you blueshirts rub your hands in glee, don't forget your former pinup boy Michael Lowry, not to mention numerous fine gaelly councillors around the country. Well we the ordinary men and women will give you a bloody nose on March 30th, and the 30th March is only the start. The plain people of Ireland have had enough of your crap. Time to call stop.

author by Mark C - ASTI (Pers. Caps.)publication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 08:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is the statement from ASTI President, Pat Hurley, published this month in ASTIR Vol. 27: Number 2: March 2009.

---

The anger and frustration of teachers, public servants and other citizens of this country was voiced loudly on February 21, when 120,000 people took to the streets in Dublin to protest at the Government’s mishandling of the economic crisis.

Teacher anger

Teachers’ anger at the Government’s mismanagement of the economy has been rising steadily since last October when schools were hit with draconian cutbacks to education, which not only affected our working conditions but will significantly affect the quality of education for the students in our schools.

Along with cuts to grants and funding, the cutbacks saw an increase in the pupil–teacher ratio, which will result in larger class sizes, the dropping of subjects and approximately 1,000 fewer classroom teaching jobs.

Teachers starting out in their careers are particularly at risk; they do not have full-time secure positions and are often employed on a year-to-year or a part-time basis. These are the teachers of the future, in whose hands the education of the next generation rests; it is not acceptable that they
should have their careers taken from them.

It simply does not make economic sense to jeopardise jobs or to reduce investment in education at a time when we need more than ever to focus resources in that area, which can ensure that we are in a position to take full advantage of any upturn in the economy.

An unjust levy

The latest attack on teachers has come in the form of a poorly planned and inequitable public service pension levy. Our pensions are part of our pay and conditions of work. We do not earn enormous sums of money, nor can we accrue bonuses or overtime. Pensions have long been viewed
by teachers as deferred pay. Attacking our pensions amounts to cutting our wages.

Teachers are willing to play our part in solving the economic crisis. However, we cannot engage in any solution that is less than fair, equitable and measured – something the Government has thus far failed to provide. Teachers and other public service workers did not cause the crisis. It was caused by the risky gambling of unregulated bankers, speculators and property developers. Yet, these people are not being asked to pay. Instead the Government, whose policies and regulators allowed this crisis to happen, is targeting teachers and other public servants to pay for their mismanagement of the country’s finances.

There is a more just option, one that involves collective responsibility. It will involve pain but this pain will be shared equally. A progressive taxation system is a much fairer option than the pension levy; those who have the ability to pay more will do so proportionally. The public and private sectors must stand together in the call for a different response – a response that protects jobs, those of non-permanent teachers as well as those at endangered firms like SRT Technics; one that protects pensions, both public service and private schemes like those held at Waterford Crystal; and, one
that ensures fairness in taxation and the upholding of employment rights.

Send a message to the Government

The campaign against the education cutbacks and the public service pension levy may be long but it is vital. These measures must be opposed at every opportunity. One such opportunity will be the local and European elections in June. I urge you to ensure that your voice is heard by your local candidates.

Pat Hurley
ASTI President

Related Link: http://asti.ie/pdfs/Astirs/2009/ASTIRMarch09.pdf
author by Mark C - ASTI (Pers. Caps.)publication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 08:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Taxpayer,

You are correct, I should have said all ASTI members, but since all schools are unionised, the same (or very similar) letter was sent to all TUI members and INTO members; in effect EVERY school.

Mark C.

Related Link: http://www.markconroy.net/blog
author by Kevin T. Walsh - Social and Justicepublication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 08:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree totally with private sector head. The public service are reasonably safe at the moment while the private sector is haemorahging on a dailry basis. I respect the hard working nurses in the public pool but as the people of Ireland are getting to realise now, we have a serious excessive waste of overpaid and over stayed public servants.

You can have all the one day strikes from now until doomsday and it won't change a thing.

Is closing down the airports an answer, No? Is bringing the country to a standstill. No?

We need as Des O'Malley said in the mid 80's a total revamp of the public service. In his own words jobs and pensions for the boys for life at the time.

People can't just select one section of the public service. Look at the bureaucratic monster the HSE has grown into. Look at the FAS sector that costs us billions a year and some individuals with the egos that have cost the taxpayer millions.

Let's get serious here - Let us start talking some serious economics without the lectures, the speeches, the IMF are on the fringe of entering Ireland and that is how serious it is right now. This mornings news tells you that the EU have given Lenihan and his cronies 5 years to get their monetary system in order. I have a problem with swallowing that bull.

The first hit some weeks ago was children with disabilities but then again what is new. There was no public outcry loud enough for the Government to listen so let's see on Tuesday morning what the Monday Strike will achieve NOTHING.

Kevin T. Walsh

author by Teachers United - Teachers Unitedpublication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 09:12author email teachersunited09 at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

A general meeting of the National Public Service Alliance will take place in the Teachers Club, Parnell Square at 8 P.M. on Wednesday next, March 25

Please see:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/91632

Related Link: http://www.teachersunited.wordpress.com
author by éirígí PRO - éirígípublication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has accused the Labour leader Eamonn Gilmore of betraying Irish workers and trade unionists and of siding with the political and capitalist classes responsible for the current economic crisis.

Casey was speaking following comments by Gilmore in which he expressed his opposition to the national strike scheduled for March 30.

Casey said: “The actions of Gilmore are despicable. At a time like this when workers and trade unionists are having pay cuts forced upon them and being made to pay for the greed and incompetence of successive administrations and their banking and developer friends, the least they can expect is the support of those who claim to have workers interests at heart.”

He added: “Instead of trying to galvanise support for the workers of this country, the people he and his party claim to represent, Gilmore has shown where his loyalties lie. He has sided with the political and capitalist classes in this country. He has betrayed the rights of Irish workers and trade unionists.”

Casey concluded: “Now, more than ever, worker and trade union militancy and solidarity are required to defend those rights. Workers and trade unionists should ignore the weasel words of Gilmore and take to the streets in large numbers on March 30. I would also urge the wider public to publicly support this national strike and help to defend the rights and living standards of all Irish workers and their families.”

Related Link: http://www.eirigi.org
author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 13:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This strike is about 12 years too late. ICTU et al trying to save face. Teachers, Nurses, Gardai are all relatively well paid. We are in the economic sewer and the banana republic is still with us. The tide of Euro dollars kept us quiet.
The unions have zero credibility. Are senior union officials willing to work for the average industrial wage.
I oppose this strike, utterly. It's hyprocisy by the unions, which is sickening.

author by Mark C - Indymedia.iepublication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 18:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A full size version (A3) of this can be downloaded here: http://www.archive.org/download/Indymedia_March_30_Poster/Indymedia_March_30.jpg

Strike Notice Served Today by ASTI

Related Link: http://www.archive.org/download/Indymedia_March_30_Poster/Indymedia_March_30.jpg
author by chuptzah - Microsoft Irelandpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 08:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why to take part the national strike? Because that's the first step:

1. Union sanctioned national strike
2. Two weeks+ of wildcat strikes ( the unions will turn to the side of the capitalists at this point, as in May '68 )
3. Workers occupation of the largest industries/companies ( taking the largest ones will have a domino effect )

Question: am I entitle to go on strike if my company has not been served the 7-day notice? From what I read it seems not all of them got it.

Related Link: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/12.era1.htm
author by Communistpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 09:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The whole strike is useless Sabre Rattling.

Bellowing trade union leaders showing off their powerlessness as the Tsunami approaches.

Takes away from the REAL issues.

Such as:

Now that the average industrial wage has fallen WELL below €30,000 per annum (Nearer €25k I would say now.)I think it is time for REVERSE-BENCHMARKING of public sector pay.

author by Signing On.publication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 09:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ya,

They "BENCHMARKED" their pay UP.

They should bloody well be forced to Benchmark it DOWN now.

author by Statistician.publication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you include the income of the tens of thousands of private sector workers who are now drawing dole in the "Average Industrial Wage" the average industrial wage would be well below €25kper annum now.

There are NO Public Sector workers drawing the dole...perish the thought.

author by Tut tut tutpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Statistician you need to go back to school. The calculation of the average industrial wage is not affected at all by how many people are unemployed. The average industrial wage is precisely what it says it is the average wage of those who work in industry. If you are unmployed you are not working and therefore your income is not included. The average industrial wage might have fallen in recent months but this will be due to employers cutting pay and not people getting paid dole money.

The average industrial wage of €38k - €39k a year is higher that the pay of a majority of public sector workers.

author by Séamuspublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To encourage debate, we’ll be inviting specific contributions from organisations such as WSM, People Before Profit, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Sinn Féin, Irish Socialist Network and the Labour Party before the end of the week.

What about the likes of the CPI and éirígí?

author by Statistician.publication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was expecting that Mr Tut Tut Tut.

So...when thousands of industrial workers become unemployed they disappear off the statistics for the national income.

How convenient for well paid Public Sector workers who are virtually immune from ever lining up on a dole queue.

author by 1 of imc - Indymediapublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The CPI and éirígí have already made comments in relation to the general situation which have been posted on Indymedia (twice in the case of éirígí, it's been left up on two threads for the time being).

To a certain extent and for the time being, the situation has been quite fluid. It looks now as if ICTU will call off M30 and the imc/DCTV project to cover the one day strike will be smothered in the cot. It's questionable whether ICTU had any real intentions of progressing the strike in the first place; as far as I can see, the only organisation putting any of its resources behind the strike were WSM.

That's not to say that discussion regarding the general strike as a tactic should be postponed for the next time. Indymedia encourages debate and two separate threads have been set up to garner grassroots information on the strike and the mood in the workplace.

author by Non-Statistician.publication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am a technician in a factory in Cork.

Almost none of my colleagues earn over €35k a year.

The vast majority earn less than €30k.

Just an observation.

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The average industrial wage is calculated on the average wage paid to industrial workers, thats why its called that.

Only a fool or a conman like statistician would suggest that it should include the unemployed.

Statistics dont lie but liars like statistician use statistics to try and con people.

author by Statisticianpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tax Statistics BEFORE the meltdown:

http://www.budget.gov.ie/2008/downloads/DistributionOfI...e.pdf

About 40% of those working pay at the pay at the standard rate.
About 21% of those working pay at the pay at the higher rate.
So About 39% of those working pay no tax........too badly paid.

About one in 5 pays at the higher rate.

The statistics includes all workers including even bank managers and public sector etc.

There is NO way the average private sector industrial worker was over €32k last year.

The average has plummeted since.

(Even if we "pretend" that those on the dole are not industrial workers.)
.

author by Tut Tut Tutpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 13:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well Statistician you said; How convenient for well paid Public Sector workers who are virtually immune from ever lining up on a dole queue.

This is also not true. Thousands of workers in the public sector have lost their jobs so far, ask the contract workers in the HSE and the hundreds who have lost their jobs in the local councils. With the cutbacks up to 1,000 teachers are set to lose their jobs.

Not sure what your game is but you are no friend of the private sector worker. If public sector workers wages were cut and thousands of them where sacked it would not help the workers in the private sector instead it would make the recession worse and more private sector workers would lose their jobs because of the fall in consumer spending due to the public sector pay cuts and jobs loses.

Looks like economics is another thing you should add to your list of things you need to learn!

author by Dell Worker.publication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I had a well paid job in Dell in Limerick.

When I joined the dole queue I was written off the national roll call of "industrial workers".

So the average wage of Limerick workers remains the same..despite the industrial obliteration of its biggest industry.

As Statistician said...how convenient for some.

author by Accountantpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its not "if" public sector pay will be cut......its "when".

This country is flat broke and sinking..or haven't you noticed Mr Tut Tut Tut.

author by A.Rpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 13:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The executive council of ICTU have decided to accept an invitation by government to enter into negotiations on a national recovery programme, and has deferred the National Strike on Monday. David Begg said that it is going into negotiations to see if the government will take on their 10 point plan issued last January. Last night the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants voted not to take part in the planned National Strike. Siptu staff in the Higher Education Authority also voted against participating in the strike.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0325/...8.htm

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0325/partnership.html

author by Jerry Corneliudpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The country is not flat broke, plenty of wealthy self employed, farmers and billionaires to go after.

The trolls like statistician want to make public sector workers pay for the crisis. They didnt cause it, the speculaters did.

Those who benefited from the celtic tiger should now pay the price.

As for the average industrial wage, you remind of Humpty Dumpty, making a word mean what you want it to mean.

author by Topperpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Convenient for who, exactly? It's certainly convenient for IBEC and the Government if people spend all their time talking about whether public sector or private sector workers are worse off in this crisis.

But is it convenient for public sector workers if large numbers of private sector workers are laid off? Not in the slightest. Even from a purely selfish point of view - assuming that public sector workers have no friends or family who they care about working in the private sector, which is obviously nonsense - public sector workers suffer when private sector employment falls - fewer people working = less tax money = less money for public services = cutbacks = fewer public sector jobs and lower public sector wages.

And is it convenient for private sector workers if public sector workers have to take pay cuts? Not in the slightest. It won't make a blind bit of difference to workers formerly employed at Dell or any other company that has laid them off if the entire public service has to take a 20% pay cut. They didn't lose their jobs because public sector wages were "too high" (which they aren't) - they lost their jobs because of developments in the economy that have nothing to do with the levels of public spending in Ireland - we spend less on public services than almost any other country in Europe, but we are worse hit by the crisis than anyone but Iceland so far.

In fact, right-wing economists have openly stated that one of the reasons why they want public sector wages to be cut is to set a marker for IBEC to launch a ruthless attack on wages in the private sector. Public sector and private sector workers can stand together or go down together - but neither section of the working class will gain one iota at the expense of the other.

Meanwhile the HSE is still advertising for management positions with €190,000 salaries, the top politicians and civil servants cream off vast wages at our expense, AIB and Bank of Ireland have made off with €7 billion of our money as a reward for their own greed and incompetence, and the government is still resisting the most minimal proposals to increase taxes on the vast wealth held by the top 5% of Ireland's population. And you want to debate whether the average private sector worker is worse off than the average public sector worker? They're both being shafted, simple as that.

author by blacblocpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Relative is a member of TUI - was meeting with a group of other teachers today when news came through that strike was off - all disgusted to hear it.

author by disgusted there is no strikepublication date Wed Mar 25, 2009 23:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who will step up and call a march where we don't have to follow these 'leaders'?

author by Statisticianpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 08:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I fully agree that the "top" managers set their own wages (they use the posh word "renumeration".)
They are paid far too much.
(Most of then got very ordinary results at graduation...they are not the Einsteins they pretend to be.)

But the number of people in this country earning over €100K is a minute ,tiny, infinitesimal fraction of the population.

Targeting them won't solve anything.

author by Accountantpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 08:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Common sense from Martina Devlin in today's Indo.

"Has union leadership lost all sense of reality?" she asks:

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/martina-de....html

They have completely lost the plot in my opinion.

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The wealthiest 1% who have 87 Billion euro in assets (Central Bank Report) are paying no levy.

The 20,000 ( not infintesimal) senior executives and self employed in the private sector, who are earning in excess of 200,000 Euro per year (Report of Revenue Commissioners) will pay no "levy" .

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The issue is not so much that the " rich " do not pay the levy but rather they benefit most from relief on contributions to their own, private, pensions. I think that if the govt abolshed relief at the higher level and imposed a ceiling above which there would be no relief that would be progressive, equitable and fair. I don't have a problem with someone having to pay their own pension. I personally do not invest in pension funds, for ethical reasons. I don't want my cash going to Shell, pharmas and so on. This should be part of the debate.
A tax on all second and subsequent homes would be a good idea.
Taxing assets is problematic and requires creativity.

author by Accountant.publication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You mean the "assets" shown in THIS Graph Gerry:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/images/2008/1118/12....html

Quote:

"Shares in the Bank of Ireland, which was valued at just €833 million yesterday, have collapsed over the past 21 months, falling almost 95 per cent, or €17.4 billion in value, since they peaked at €18.65 in February 2007."

Those "assets" are hardly worth the paper they are written on now.

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I mean all assets.

Dr Tom O'Connor CIT was speaking about it on Morning Ireland this am. He reckons the rich are in quite a healthy position to take a hit. Out of tax breaks in the building trade alone, €13 billion was effectively handed to specualators between 1997 and 2007. Thats apart from the other billions made in profits.

You really are a scream accountant/statistician etc but you're not fooling anyone here.

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What are your ideas re taxing these " assets " ? I have no arguement with your point of view, however, we need practical suggestions. I refer you to my suggestion re tax relief on private pensions. This would save the taxpayer a huge amount of money.

author by Jerrypublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 13:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I meant all assets need to be taken into consideration. A poster above was trying to maintain that there are no rich because certain shares have fallen in value.

Your suggestions regarding pensions are certainly worth looking at. The vast majority of the tax relief on pensions goes to the really rich. Only 20% goes to low & middle income earners.

An easy way of saving €4 billion would be to dissallow pension tax relief on earnings over €70,000 pa.

author by Accountantpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 13:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The problem is WAY WAY BIGGER than squeezing the rich dry.

"Hit the Rich" fair enough.......Impoverish the lot of 'em......that won't solve anything.

It'll make a lot of people FEEL good (myself included) to see the Flash Harrys brought to book.

But that is ALL it will do...it won't put a dent in the deficit facing this country.

Some people in this country refuse to see the depths of the financial abyss into which we are staring.

They will though...not long now!

author by JCpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 14:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh it will make a dent, no doubt.

Theres all sort of fairy tales being spun about how few well off people there are. But theres also reality:

The wealthiest 1% of the population hold €87 Billion in assets. (Central Bank)

20,000 senior executives and self employed in the private sector are earning in excess of €200,000 per year (Report of Revenue Commissioners).

Yes, there plenty of the filthy rich and boy are they rolling in it.

Now who should pay? Low & middle income earners or the above?

author by Accountantpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are plenty of very rich people in Ireland who don't pay enough tax.
Fair enough. That is all too obvious.

But saying that the top 1% are still worth €87 billion a bit like saying that Ireland is still the second wealthiest country in the world.

Superficially we seemed to be that wealthy for a short while...we weren't,and never were.

The wealth was a complete illusion based on share prices and property prices and all the other familiar financial trickery.

As the New York Times put it:

“How Ireland Became the Celtic Tiger” was the title of one Heritage Foundation article; “The Estonian Economic Miracle” was the title of another. All three nations are in deep crisis now.
For a while, the inrush of capital created the illusion of wealth in these countries, just as it did for American homeowners: asset prices were rising, currencies were strong, and everything looked fine. But bubbles always burst sooner or later, and yesterday’s miracle economies have become today’s basket cases."

The world is laughing at us.

See:
http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/lofiversion/inde....html

(The "Ireland=Toast" photo is quite funny.)

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well the €87billion comes from a Central Bank Report. Not all that wealth was in shares, not all of it was in housing.

Even if was down to €50 billion they still wouldn't miss 20% woukld they? Still leave them with €40 billion and €10 billion less to scalp from ordinary people.

author by Accountant.publication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Even if was down to €50 billion they still wouldn't miss 20% would they? Still leave them with €40 billion and €10 billion less to scalp from ordinary people"

Agree 100% Jerry.

They wouldn't miss 40% either..if I had my way.

The question is..Have they €50 billion?

author by JCpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 16:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm getting suspicious about you old bean.

Well, lets see if the money is there. All the evidence suggests it is.

In the 1980s there was suposed to be no money in the country. In fact the opposite was true. The country was awash with money. Same situation now.

Lets get after the rich!

author by Accountantpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 20:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lets accept that the rich 1% of the population have €50 billion between them.

Liberate 40% of it ...take it off them.

Thats €20 billion.

That is just about what the Irish Republic will borrow THIS year alone.

What about NEXT year?
And the year after that?

There is NO reservoir of rich people in this country who will drag us out of this hole.
.

author by Londonerpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 21:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Compared to London Ireland looks very "equal" in wealth.

Park Lane in the West End is as foreign to us Eastenders as the far side of the Moon.

Even Dublin 4 looks poor compared to Park Lane.

The Lambourghinis and Mazaratis and Ferraris and Rolls Royces parked outside the Dorchester are designed to make us working class Eastenders envious.

It works !

I never saw a Rolls Royce in Dublin.

Dublin has not got the crass Class Divisions of Britain,where the Middle and Upper and Working classes have a form of Apathheid.

Well may Dublin stay like that.

author by old timerpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 23:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The problem with the money that hasn't been blown in the stock-market melt-down or spirited out of the country is that no one would support confiscatory laws (They would be unconstitutional anyhow)

Not even the poor support confiscation because they have a keen eye to history and the slippery slope. The Bolsheviks first seized the property of the industrialists. Within 5 years they were stealing the land of peasant farmers and murdering them in their millions.

author by Accountantpublication date Thu Mar 26, 2009 23:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of courseI was being ironic when I said "Take 40% of their money" Old Timer.

Theft is not allowed...even if we disagree with the disgraceful tax loops by which some of the rich obtained their money.

If we robbed the rich of €40 billion (if they had it ) we would stop the borrowing for 2 years just.

Dublin does not look as rich as London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo Vienna, etc..because...

...... Dublin is a lot poorer than it thinks it is.

author by Jerry Cornelius.publication date Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So taxing those with low and middle income is ok!

But taxing the rich is theft!

Funny that, tax on the rich leads to Bolshevism but tax on the working and middle classes leads to capitalism which is ok for accountant and old timer!

Funny accountant doesnt make the same argument about coming after ordinary people year after year, they will somehow still have the money to be squeezed out of them but the rich won't!

Go away you conmen! A moron in a hurry wouldn't be taken in by you!

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Before we go believing in a magic pot of gold at the endof the rainbow,can someonetellme what comprisesthis €87billion?If it is land/assets then we have a problem as it may prove difficult to get a tax yield when there is no access to credit or where there is no liquid cash. Of course there is a lot of cash wealth in country and of course this should be taxed, however, it may still not be enough to plug the hole.
I think we are all, by and large, in agreement on this issue.

author by Accountant.publication date Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok, Ok,

Take 40% (or 80%) off the top 1% wealthy in TAX and you still have not put a dent in our problems.

(That's if you realistically could...but you can't.)

You just delay the Tsunami for a year or two.

It's just wishful thinking.

It is HARD thinking that is required.
.

author by Taxpayerpublication date Fri Mar 27, 2009 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dan O'Brien described the Meltdown well last in last Friday's Irish Times.

Reads like a horror story:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0320/1....html

author by Jerrypublication date Fri Mar 27, 2009 13:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are just repeating the same old guff. The govt has had no problem about coming to those on low and middle income time after time.

Well now the working and middle classes have had enough: its time for the rich to pay for a change. And yes come back to them time after time until we can squeeze no more out of them.

The money is there just as it was in the 1980s.

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Fri Mar 27, 2009 14:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Heres a real Horror Story: people suffering from CF will die younger because of HSE cutbacks.

Now should the rich pay or should these people die?

Trading people's lives for economic survival is sick and heartless
Fri, Mar 27, 2009

OPINION: The HSE has effectively told us that it was just pretending CF patients mattered, writes ORLA TINSLEY

THE 30-bed dedicated cystic fibrosis unit that Brendan Drumm promised in January 2008 would be available by 2010 is not happening. The news that the funding will not be available until 2011 is heartbreaking. As CF patients we should have seen it coming.

Eight single en suite rooms were made available at St Vincent’s hospital in August 2008, and that gave us hope. On Wednesday I sat beside the lake in UCD holding on to my friend. I had just gotten a text message to say that a close friend with cystic fibrosis had died. All we could do was leave the library and go outside and breathe in the cold, fresh air.

That was the second person I knew with cystic fibrosis who died in the past three weeks, and there are at least two others that weren’t friends of mine.


Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0327/1224243552720.html
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