Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sinn Féin condemns government approval of Household Charge

Cllr Anthony Kelly has condemned the government’s decision to introduce a new household charge of €100 as a pre-cursor to water charges and a property tax. The Wexford Sinn Féin councillor has venomously rejected Deputy Paul Kehoe’s suggestion that there is no alternative to this new tax, and has described the new charge has being more than a little similar in delivery to Margaret Thatcher’s first steps at introducing a poll tax in Britain during the 1980’s.

“This charge is yet another form of regressive taxation and will further stifle the conditions necessary for true economic recovery,” Cllr Kelly said. “Once again those who have less have been targeted with extreme austerity measures, while those who can afford to pay more escape with a minor bruise. Last Saturday we learned that welfare cuts and raising the income tax of ordinary workers will be the budgetary strategy of the Fine Gael/Labour government. They are preparing to roll out the same backward measures that they condemned Fianna Fail for implementing last year.”

“The Household charge will see more money drained from the pockets of the majority, leading to further collapse of the local economy. The retail industry will be particularly hard hit. It is clear that the austerity plans employed by this government are failing. In the second quarter of this year GNP was down 4.3 per cent on the previous quarter. There can be no recovery as long as our government insists on slash and burn austerity.”

“Paul Kehoe claimed on South East Radio that there was no alternative to the introduction of this tax. I suggest that Deputy Kehoe look to our proposals of introducing a third band of income tax at 48% on those earning in excess of €100,000 per annum, and placing a 1% wealth tax on those with assets worth more than €1 million, excluding working farmland. I would also ask that County Wexford’s government TDs provide estimated figures for how much revenue is being lost to the state through the misuse of tax breaks, which are being exploited by very wealthy people to increase their fortunes. There is a better, fairer way to run this state.”

“I would have grave concerns that this is the first step in the creation of an Irish poll tax, similar in lay out and cruelty to the hated community tax introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1989. People need to mobilise and to get onto the streets to oppose this tax. Remember it’s not in yet and people power maybe the only thing that can convince this government to look to a more equivalent system of taxation.”

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