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Under the policy of this Government, and one that is backed by Fianna Fáil, the reality is that the people in this country will no longer fully own their own homes anymore.
With the property tax, they are creating a situation where people will owe money on a yearly basis to the Government by penalising them for their initiative in providing themselves and their families with a roof over their heads, out of their earned money that they had already been taxed, and which had not cost the State anything in the first place.
The property tax is a regressive tax that disproportionately impacts hardest on those on lower to middle incomes, without getting anything back in return. It is a total blatant and extortionist act that is nothing short of a protection racket on the part of the Government in order to protect the wealthy and those on the highest incomes from paying a higher level of income tax.
The Government are dismissing calls for a third rate of tax for those on even salaries of over €100,000 a year. The excuse is that “raising income tax is a tax on work”. What a pathetic excuse.
Where do they think people will get the money to pay this property tax except through income earned from work?
As Fine Gael stated in their manifesto last year “an annual recurring tax on the family home is unfair”. Enda Kenny once said that such a tax is unjust, immoral and illegal. What has changed since then?
Despite its many drawbacks, the collection and use of income tax is the fairest way to pay for local services. It would be far easier and less controversial than their present approach. The Government claim the present approach is to broaden the tax base. The problem is that they are widening the tax take at the bottom and not at the top.
The logic that Phil Hogan has adopted is that “the people that haven’t paid the house tax will be responsible for cuts in essential services and local government”. The reality is that this Government have withdrawn €170m of funding from local authorities to pay the gambling debts of bankers, developers and speculators. He said he has to turn to income tax to pay for essential local services. It makes more sense to keep it that way.
Many policy aspects of this Government appear to be to antagonise and to set people against each other.
This approach does not lend itself in forming the basis for a morally fair and just society.
chairman Citizens Against Charges
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