Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Household Tax 2012’ Category

Independent Left’s Useful Analysis of the February 2020 Irish General Election

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The author is Conor Kostick

In Dublin Bay North, as elsewhere, at first it seemed as though the socialist voice of the working class was going to also be swept away by the growth of the Sinn Féin vote. The Green vote too, might have been a challenge for socialists (although it was more of a challenge for Labour and other middle-ground and middle class parties). But as the counts went on, the transfers from Sinn Féin were strongly to the left, much more so than had been anticipated, although there were some losses to the presence of radical socialists in the Dáil and as activists with the advantages that being a TD brings to helping organise campaigns. We were sorry to see Ruth Coppinger and Séamus Healy lose their seats but delighted that after a difficult looking start, on the whole, the socialist left held their ground. In fact, we should have gained a seat in Dublin Bay North and at the expense of Seán Haughey of Fianna Fáil, who before the election had been a twenty-to-one favourite.

Dail Rushes Property Tax on to Statute Book – PickPocket Law Ridiculed by Clare Daly TD

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Property Tax – New Tactics Needed

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What tactics can be used to defeat the property tax? That is a very pressing question because the boycott weapon, used pretty effectively against the bin and house taxes, will not work. No taxpayer can “boycott” tax increases deducted at source from pay by the state.

The Cedar Lounge Revolution

The SBP notes that:

Self-employed workers will not be able to get tax clearance certificates if they do not pay the new property tax, it has emerged.

This had been the general analysis from those involved in the CAHWT, but it is interesting to see it now confirmed. And it is, naturally, yet another salvo in the on-going campaign the government is waging on the issue – particularly since the first of the 1.6 million letters to householders with estimates of their tax liability are going to be sent out in the next week or so.

In many respects the government has played this quite cleverly, clearly learning from the property ‘charge’ debacle. The room for movement is now extremely circumscribed, at least in terms of refusing payment, given, as the SBP notes…

The tax authority has been granted a range of new powers to secure payment of the new…

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Feb 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm

The Socialist Party leaves the United Left Alliance

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Socialist Party leaves the ULA

by Henry Silke

Last Saturday the Socialist Party (CWI) posted an article on their website announcing the end their membership of the United Left Alliance. This was one of the least surprising political events of the Irish left as the Socialist Party had been steadily moving away from the alliance for over a year.

The SP have given two reasons for leaving the alliance firstly it’s unhappiness with ex Socialist Party TD Clare Daly’s continued political relationship with Mick Wallace, a left leaning populist who became embroiled in a tax evasion scandal. Clare Daly had been closely allied to Wallace in the promotion of an abortion rights bill and most recently in the exposure of a practice where privileged members of society were being cleared of driving charges, something brought to the TDs, by whistle blowing members of the Irish police force. Clare Daly herself had resigned from the Socialist Party (and re-designated herself as a ULA TD) some months ago citing the Socialist Party’s lack of enthusiasm towards building the ULA. Read the rest of this entry »

Good Days for Financial Parasites, Friends of the Fine Gael-Labour Government

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In case you were wondering where the €427 million to be ‘saved’ by the cuts in welfare spending in 2014 (€390 million in 2013) is going (childrens allowance, respite care grant, PRSI increases for low earners, etc) or where the household and ‘property’ tax money is going – here’s a snapshot of today’s activities: payments to bondholders on Dec 17.
Check out who’s paying out, by hitting ‘A good day’ below.
BoI (Bank of Ireland) and EBS (now merged with AIB). They are paying ‘Senior Unsecured’ bondholders – rich people who bought bonds from the banks with no associated collateral to guarantee repayment – and therefore a higher rate of interest. The banks used the money raised from these bond sales to fund the developers – and together they drove up land and house prices. Since the crash, these bonds have been trading on the bond markets for anything up to a 50% discount – but the banks are paying out full listed price to current bondholders.
There again, let’s not think the bankers are losing too much sleep over giving a euro for a bond bought for 50 cent: the money they’re using to pay the bondholders is state / your money (the state is the payer of last resort, because it can raise the money by taxing you and me), or money borrowed from the ECB with the state / you standing as guarantor. And the state, Labour and Fine Gael, the EU and the ECB, are all insisting that full payment is made on what are otherwise almost worthless bonds.
As to who decides these matters, you might think that the state would act in the interests of citizens. It does indeed do that – but for the wealthy citizens. So when you hear that well-hackneyed phrase ‘protecting the most vulnerable’, have a think about how vulnerable those bondholders must be – coz they’re sure getting a lot of protecting.
The state put €5,000 million into BoI since 2008 (when it was bankrupt and nobody else would give any money) and got 50% of its shares in return. 35% of those shares were sold earlier in the year by Michael Noonan to billionaire Wilbur Ross for €1,000 million. In doing so the government agreed to give him a little prezzie of €2,500 million: he only paid €1,000 million for shares the state paid €3,500 million to the bank for. The state still owns 15% of the bank and has a ‘public interest director’ on the board. But he hasn’t met the minister for finance for over a year (he’s been busy working out the bonus payments for the other directors).
That €2,500 million discount to a billionaire is an interesting contrast to the respite grant cut to the full-time carers of people with disabilities – at a ‘saving’ to the state of €26 million.
As to AIB-EBS, the state owns 99.9% of it. And put in over €20,000 million. So the bondholders are getting the whole whack from state ‘injections’ of capital; or from borrowings made with the state as guarantor. The Irish banks have been ‘recapitalised’ (given money or had borrowings guaranteed by the state) with €17,400 million set aside for next year’s bond payments alone. And more again for the following years.
Did I hear you say ‘child benefit’?
The €500 million Labour and Fine Gael hope to get from ye through the ‘property’ tax in 2014 will help out with the €9,100 million interest payments on the money borrowed by the state to fund the banks and their debts to speculating bondholders.
So as you can see, your money’s going to good use – sure wouldn’t ye only waste it on food or drink or keeping warm if it didn’t go to ensure payment to those ‘most vulnerable’: bondholders – the people who are really being protected. Check out the Indo a while back for the wages and expenses of Ireland’s bank directors. And as you may have heard, the Financial Regulator (state employee) has told the banks that they must increase their charges and interest rates to get back into profit asap. So you’ll be helping the ‘most vulnerable’ in multiple ways: cuts, taxes, and bank charges. Mother Teresa couldn’t do more!
If all this has you feeling a bit irritated, put Saturday, Feb 9, 2013, in your diary – it’s the day of protest being convened by ICTU against the austerity required to keep the rich well provided with Prada bags (running out the door of Brown Thomas at €900 a go). And tell your friends. If we don’t have a big turnout in Feb – and another big demo before the €3,060 million ‘promissory note’ payment for Anglo on March 31, we can kiss goodbye to any hope of stopping the home tax – or repudiating debts which are not ours (or our children’s).
Brendan Young

ULA: Demonstrate! 1pm Sat 24 Nov, Parnell Square, Dublin

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This post and the comments indicate that the November 24 Pre-Budget Anti-Austerity March has wide support ; See also

The Cedar Lounge Revolution

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Time to Make our Voices Heard, Say Organisers of November 24th Anti-Austerity March

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Time to Make our Voices Heard, Say Organisers of November 24th Anti-Austerity March

The groups organising the Anti-Austerity March on November 24th today (Monday, November 19th) held a joint press conference.

Chairing the press conference, Tommy McKearney, speaking on behalf of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, said:

“The CAH&WT is urging all campaign members and supporters to take part in the national pre-budget anti-austerity demonstration in Dublin on Saturday 24th November. With the OECD reporting Ireland’s unemployment rate as the fourth highest among developed countries and clear evidence of household incomes falling, December’s budget must not cause still more damage through further cut-backs. The CAH&WT message is straight-forward : The Coalition must be told loud and clear on 24th November that it was not elected to impoverish the people“, Mr McKearney said.

Speaking on behalf of the Communities Against Cuts campaign, Lynda Scully said:

“This year’s budget will cut €1.7 billion from public expenditure. If the last five budgets are anything to go by, this will be disproportionately targeted at the poorest and most disadvantaged communities, devastating the community sector by removing local services and jobs. If this is allowed to happen we will see closures throughout the country in youth services, child-care, elder care, training and education projects, local and community development and drugs projects. This march is for the people to stand up and let the government know the last five budgets have not worked, and nor will this one”.

John Bissett of the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope said:

“On Saturday November 24th community groups from all over Dublin and beyond will be joining the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope to articulate their anger at the continuation of austerity measures which will be further exacerbated in the upcoming Budget”.

Michael O’Reilly of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions said:

“After five austerity budgets, 300,000 of our fellow citizens are unemployed and one million people are living in deprivation. Yet on December 5th the Government is set to introduce the sixth austerity budget since the onset of the crisis. That is why we are asking people to join us on November 24th and send a clear message to Government Buildings in advance of the Budget: We need to change direction and start focussing on growth and investment rather than destructive cuts”.


For further information contact:


John Bissett (Spectacle of Defiance and Hope) 087-9889132

David Connolly (Communities Against Cuts) 087-9073573

Gregor Kerr (Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes) 086-1501151

Alex Klemm (DCTU) 087-2606139


The November 24th Anti-Austerity March will take place at 1 pm on Saturday, November 24th, starting from Parnell Square

Nationwide’s ‘soft’ loan to Hogan

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Looks like the Sindo are not completely on Big Phil’s side after all:

Soft Irish Nationwide Loan to Fine Gael Environment Minister Phil Hogan

Big Phil’s House Sale :

Fine Gael Chief Whip Paul Kehoe Buys Phil Hogan’s House


Written by tomasoflatharta

Jul 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Campaign Against House Tax Conference Votes for Opposing the Austerity Treaty

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A conference of the Campaign Against the Household and Water Tax (CAHWT) meeting on Saturday May 19 in the Red Cow Hotel decided for voting No to the Austerity Treaty in Ireland on May 31. Eight motions calling for a No Vote were discussed in the morning session chaired by Tommy McKearney. The mood of the conference is summed up in the Dublin South Motion :

Conference Agrees that nationally the CAHWT calls for a No Vote in the forthcoming Referendum on the Fiscal Treaty

A very large majority of the 250 people attending the conference supported the Vote No Policy. No counter-motions were proposed, but members of the anarchist Workers’ Solidarity Movement argued against the majority view.

Written by tomasoflatharta

May 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

50 per cent have not paid the house tax – latest figures

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It is official – only 50 per cent of eligible victims have signed up to the house tax – many thanks to Nama Winelake for the story.

NAMA Wine Lake

In advance of the referendum on 31st May, there appears to be a temporary lull in talk of austerity, at least talk by the Government. It almost feels like being back as a child at home when there are visitors, and you have committed some real or imagined transgression and you know as soon as the visitors leave, you’ll be in for a leathering. And the anxiety is that as soon as the referendum is out of the way on 31st May, we won’t be able to escape wall-to-wall coverage about household charges, septic tank registration fees, fines, prosecutions and the results of the expert group looking at charging structures for a new property tax in 2013 – the only certainty is the commitment with the IMF which states in the Memorandum of Understanding (page 83) there will be “an increase in property tax.”

But what about the household charge for…

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Written by tomasoflatharta

May 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm