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

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 806 No. 2

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  9 o’clock

Deputy Phil Hogan: Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Nonsense.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn 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.

Deputy Phil Hogan: Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan We are taxing them.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn The Government can be sure of this: it may have forced the hound-dogs of Revenue onto the people and brought in the legislation, and the people might be paying the tax reluctantly now, but they will not be fooled.

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: Information on Anthony Lawlor Zoom on Anthony Lawlor How does one call a hound-dog?

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn They will have their say, and the smirks will be wiped off the Government faces something beautiful. I look forward to that day.

Deputy Phil Hogan: Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Tiocfaidh ár lá.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn I look forward to the day of retribution when all the hope and all the lies those in government told and all the promises they broke come back to kick them in the backside. They have it coming to them in a big way.

Deputy Paudie Coffey: Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey Sinn Féin would send the troika home.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn Here is the final mix.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett You are over time, Deputy.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn I understand Fine Gael, and we know all about those in Fianna Fáil who say that we cannot pay this tax now but they have no alternatives and no commitments.

Deputy Paudie Coffey: Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey The Deputy has all the bluster but no solutions.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn Anyway, what the hell is going on with the Labour Party? A documentary has been made called "Labour's Way". It reminds every Labour Party member of the great mistakes they made in the past, including being the buttress to right-wing Fine Gael Governments that imposed austerity. Here they are again making the same mistakes. Those in government have choices. They should stop the nonsense, stop trying to suck the hope from our people and do the right thing. If they do not, they should have no doubt: they will meet the same fate as Fianna Fáil.


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