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December 18, 2013

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Tony Owens

I wont dispute your figures for direct taxation Michael. But to gain a better picture of citizen behaviour and attitudes in Ireland towards taxation, at least five more aspects need to be explored:
1. Indirect taxation (VAT, duties, rates, government charges etc) with the exception of property taxes are relatively high in Ireland and are paid by everyone.
2. MNC businesses with operating units in Ireland pay very little tax relative to non-exporting (i.e. indigenous) businesses.
3. Much of the Irish public is deeply ambiguous about whether public services meet their expectations and whether they are actually worth paying for. This is apparent in high levels of private health insurance, low levels of industry/state science provider interaction, low levels of engagement with state-controlled vocational training, attitudes towards payment of TV licences to name a few.
4. Rightly or wrongly, there is a perception that there are problems with inappropriate levels of rewards relative to performance and low levels of transparency and accountability in the senior ranks of some state-sector agencies, and of self-interested or empire-building rather than customer-focused behaviour.
5. There is an issue around control of how tax revenues are spent. Local democracy is largely symbolic in Ireland and the government of the day is free to disburse funds and to borrow against the creditworthiness of the citizenry with little accountability.

I think all of these issues threaten the sustainability of the Irish welfare state, and that unless they are all acknowledged and meaningfully addressed one or more of them may impact tax flows by discouraging the wealth-creating sector yet further. Given the relatively low levels of Irish entrepreneurship and levels of emigration among the educated, this in fact appears to be happening.

Personally speaking, I hate to see polarisation between public and private sector in Ireland, and see politics and citizenship move closer to the US model and more distant from the German-style partnership model. But I have no doubt that this is happening.

The Dork of Cork

My prediction for 2014....

Ireland and perhaps other peripheral euro countries will be subjected to a massive capital dumping event which will slash the mean energy consumption per person as the remaining credit worthy people eat all of the energy pies.
Expect new private car sales in Ireland to go well beyond 100,000 units for the first time since 2008.

The greatest mortal danger for people is when the banking system escapes crisis.
This is when the hammer comes down on life support systems of once conduit people who have now served their purpose in life.
When these people no longer become conduits but non persons, that’s when they switch off the oxygen machine.
Ireland will start “growing” in 2014 but much more people will fall off the cliff.

For every deflation there is a equal and opposite inflation.
This will be a repeat of the 80s /90s rinse and repeat episode but it will destroy far more people this time around the sun.
What is ahead of us will be must more akin to the 1820s banking crisis and subsequent famine of the non bank persons a few decades later.
The objective is to simply wipe out the bus people so as to create energy space for new car people who wish to rise above the ranks.

5 bus people for every 1 car person.......there will be carnage as the Victorian poverty level becomes clearly manifest in our 100 year old war never ending war economy.

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