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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Finance (Local Property Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [Private Members]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

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Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

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Snippet Contents:

The Government will not fool us because we have sat with the troika and asked them what the challenge is. The troika has said it is only interested in deficit reduction in the coming years, but how we get there is entirely in our hands. The Government makes choices. It chooses every time to let the very wealthy in this State and those from overseas who come to this State off the hook. They say to the highly paid every time to stay where they are because everything is hunky dory. That is the choice the Government has made. It has decided against all economic logic to take €500 million, mostly through cuts, from low to middle-income people who spend money in the economy.
I do not think those on the Government side are stupid. They talk to businesses in their communities. They must see that the economy desperately needs a lift, stimulus, hope and positivity, yet they continue to take more. Where is the logic? There is a crazy situation whereby the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Joan Burton, gives speeches about an end to austerity and our President, Michael D. Higgins, goes to Europe and says things that are absolutely right, and those on the Government side all say he is absolutely right. What the hell are they at? One minute they tell us that we have to go through austerity, that we must have the household tax and that we cannot tax the wealthy because, God forbid, they would run a million miles if we ever asked them to pay their fair share, while on the other hand they talk about an end to austerity. It is almost like two different people or mindsets. When will we see an end to austerity?
Then they come to us and talk about alternatives. We give the Government alternatives budget after budget, fully costed by the Department of Finance. What does the Government need? Some €365 million could be saved by implementing a third rate of tax on the highly paid. The Government could raise hundreds of millions from a wealth tax on the assets of the very wealthy who are here. It could raise hundreds of millions if it brought in standardised discretionary tax rates. I could go on and on. The Government makes choices. In the case of those in Fine Gael, it is no surprise. They always represented the big house and always looked after those in it. Now they have followed Fianna Fáil and sucked the hope out of our people again, but the people are waiting for them in the long grass.