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Taxing the self-employed out of existence

So the Labour Party wanted the top income tax rates of 55% for self-employed and 52% employee increased to 58% and 55% respectively, ‘in exchange’ for a basic dole cut, whatever that means? And Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath thinks that isn’t ‘progressive’ enough, whatever that means?

We’re already near the top of the list of Europe and the world’s highest income taxing countries, a fact well known abroad. Are both the Government and opposition going for a record or something? And does the Irish Examiner support them, as suggested by a recent editorial? Politicians are fond of comparing taxing to plucking as many feathers from a goose as possible with the minimum of hissing. That ignores the fact that, even without much hissing, you may one day find that, (A) there are no feathers left, (B) the goose is dead, or (C) the goose is gone.

Self-employment in Ireland is declining more rapidly than employment by companies, not surprisingly. Perhaps we need a new term ‘self-unemployment’ to describe that problem? Or is it time for all politicians of all parties to finally admit that they want us all to work for the Government or huge foreign corporations, or not work at all, but never to dare work for ourselves without being penalised for our initiative and enterprise and condemned by those who both lack and loathe those qualities.

John T Shea




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