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It was extraordinary reading the comments attributed to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan during the cropped property tax debate.
He claimed the tax was “fair and progressive”, yet a homeowner in a €350,000 house earning €1,200 a week will pay the same as a State pensioner living on €230 a week, or a person on €188 Job Seekers living in a similar house — that is simply not “fair or progressive”.
When confronted on this the Minster’s opinion was that “everyone should make a small contribution”. To those living on basic fixed incomes, those in negative equity etc., €5/6/7 a week would mean one less hot meal each week. There is absolutely no regard for “ability to pay” other than to offer a “deferral” which carries a 4% charge — which in fact is nothing other than the poor being penalised for being poor. The last time we saw that in Ireland was under the Poor Laws.
This tax is clearly a case of the well-off protecting the well-off at the expense of the money poor. Only a Fine Gael/Labour government could arrive at the conclusion that this is a “fair and progressive” tax.
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