Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If the wealthy can pay in France, then why not here?

The French government is planning on imposing a 3% tax on annual revenues above 500,000 euros, as well as modifying a tax on real estate capital gains. The move to make the super wealthy pay more comes after sixteen of the richest citizens in France signed a petition asking the government to raise their taxes.

“We are conscious of having benefited from a French system and a European environment that we are attached to and which we hope to help maintain,” the petition said.

Mmm...I wonder if any of the many Irish multi millionaires who made their money from the incredible conditions that existed during the Fianna Fail/Celtic Tiger/Golden circle epoch will sign a similar petition acknowledging the benefits they had from living in the Ireland of that era and agreeing to pay their fair share back now to avoid further damage to our economy through reckless government austerity measures against ordinary citizens?

In Ireland today, 1% of the population own 34% of the wealth. These powerful individuals take full advantage of tax breaks to stay very wealthy. At no time during this economic crisis have they been singled out for austerity, unlike the ordinary people of Ireland. 51% of the population earn less than €34,000 per annum. These are the people who have been targeted with the Universal Social Charge, wage cuts, cuts to benefits, loss of public services and the promise of further austerity in the shape of ill advised property and water taxes.

According to our government and media, any attempts to make the wealthy accountable for this recession will lead to a mass flight of capital out of the country.

In France today there already exists a wealth tax. It is globally based and accepted as a necessity. It has not led to a flight of capital. In France the wealthy pay between 0.5% and 1.8% on assets above $1.1 million. Now they will face further increases in taxes.

It is plain to see that our government are hoodwinking the people of Ireland into thinking that a wealth tax is an impossibility when clearly it is not only possible but necessary.

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