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Snippet Contents:

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin said, "What the Irish people have endured has been tough and almost without precedent in the developed world". He says this as if we should be proud of it. Is he proud that children, pensioners, medical card holders, the unemployed, low earners and the self-employed will carry the can? How can people look to the future with confidence, as Deputy Noonan exhorted them to do today? This is a most regressive budget that will make people who are already struggling go below the water line.
The introduction of the property tax ensures it will be resisted by many people. The 0.18% rate is deliberately set low so that when local authorities take over the levying of the tax the real increases will kick in. Coincidently, this will only happen after the local elections in 2014. Does the Government think people will be fooled by this? There are very few exemptions from the property tax. Allowing people on low incomes to defer the tax and slapping an interest rate of 4% on them for doing it will be no comfort to them. Forcing people to build up future debts on the back of the property tax is only building further resentment at the targeting of the weakest in society yet again. The opposition to this tax will be fierce and rightly so. The people of Ireland will, through their opposition, force fairness on the Government. Opposition to the tax is not for the sake of it but is opposition to the strategy that the Government is pursuing of making the weakest sectors in society liable for the debts of the European banking system.