Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Abolishing Household Tax makes economic sense – O’ Súilleabháin


A Gorey anti austerity campaigner and spokesperson for North Wexford Sinn Féin has called on local TDs to back a Dail bill which seeks to abolish the household tax and fully reimburse those people who have already paid the contentious charge. Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said that County Wexford’s five sitting TDs had a democratic obligation to honour the wishes of the electorate who have categorically rejected this regressive tax. He also insisted that the repeal of the household tax made economic sense.

Mr O’ Súilleabháin, who is also a member of the campaign against the Household tax and Water Charges, said;

“Sinn Féin is bringing the Local Government (Household Charge) (Repeal) Bill 2012 before the Dail on the 19th and 20th of June. The Bill seeks to abolish the household tax and fully reimburse those people who have already paid the charge. Sinn Féin has actively and consistently opposed the household tax since its inception. We have made it clear that we believe this is a regressive form of taxation and that more rational revenue raising alternatives exist.”

“It is clear from the overwhelming show of public defiance against this tax that the electorate did not appreciate this form of double taxation which was introduced to raise revenue to bail out zombie banks. The lack of full funding available to our local authorities now is not a because people did not pay their household charge but rather a result of the government’s decision to redirect local government funding into the bailout fund for these banks.”

“County Wexford is estimated to have one of the largest non payment of the household tax records in the state. It is quite clear from these figures and from the mass public rallies against the charge which have been held across the county that the majority of the people of Wexford have rebuffed this unfair tax. Our five sitting TDs now have a democratic obligation to honour the wishes of the electorate who have categorically rejected this tax. They should vote in favour of the repeal bill on June 20th.”

“There are logical and progressive alternatives to the household charge. The introduction of a new third rate of tax of 48% on income earned by individuals in excess of €100,000 would raise €410 million. The Abolishing of ‘Group relief’ availed of by companies to transfer losses to profitable companies and write down tax receipts would bring in €450.3 million. The ending of legacy property reliefs would raise €341.8 million. Capping all public servants wages at €100,000 per annum would save €265 million.”

“Twenty thousand people in County Wexford are unemployed. Our communities have been ravaged by emigration. It was recently estimated that over seven hundred thousand Irish people are now living below the poverty line. Not paying this tax is not a question of choice; it is a question of ability. People cannot afford to pay anymore and alternatives that will not detrimentally impact on ordinary families must now be seriously looked at. When you consider that by the governments own figures the household charge would only raise €160 million, then these alternatives not only present a more ethical solution but also make economic sense.”

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