When Kenny met Carey
Deaglán de Bréadún
Before it fades from memory, the interview Pat Kenny did with Government Chief Whip Pat Carey on RTE Radio last Tuesday is worth a listen. Eamon Gilmore is on for about 12 minutes at the start but when Carey comes on, things start to get hot. Click here.
The issue in contention is media speculation about an increased tax or levy on the owners of second homes. The last Budget brought in a fee or tax of €200 a year. Yours truly had a news report on the previous day’s Irish Times that this might be raised to €600. The issue surfaced the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting that Monday, with some members raising objections to an increase.
But the tone of the exchange between Kenny and Carey is quite something and was a talking-point around Leinster House last week.
Kenny takes up the second-homes issue in an unusually sharp way and taunts Carey with the charge that Fianna Fáil, traditionally close to the builders, was now hitting its old friends. Carey hits back by charging that RTE was never terribly kind to Fianna Fáil.
We are talking about a modest €200 at the moment and, even if it goes up to €600, that will still be only €50 a month. But given the incipient backlash, I wonder will the Government go ahead with the idea – suggested by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions?