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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: May 31, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    Politics podcast: May 31st

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    In this week’s politics podcast Harry McGee discusses wage reform and the possible introduction of water charges with Joan Collins from People Before Profit, Fianna Fáil Senator Daragh O’Brien and Labour Party TD Derek Nolan

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    • Will Joan Collins ever get around to explaining what we do at the end of ten years of applying a 10% wealth tax when all 100% of the wealth will be gone?

    • Mise Elvira says:

      Great discussion. I could listen all day to Harry McGee. Lovely voice. So glad Daragh O’Brian has a platform in the Seanad. Of the three guests Daragh O’Brian absolutely understands the wage reform/water charges situation. The other two guests really sound like amateurs but at least Labour has one representative (Derek Nolan) with a pleasant speaking manner that doesn’t sound like Trotsky on Red Bull. Joan Collins and the People before Profit alliance should disband. Absolute waste of time, imo. Personally, I cannot wait for the return of FF to government. This FG/Labour “coalition” is very dodgy – already after only a few weeks, the cracks are beginning to show as the Bruton/Kenny rivalry flares up yet again and Labour, the coalition partner, is beginning to sound like an opposition party. We really are beginning to look like Lilliputians squabbling over correct procedure with regard to the cracking of boiled eggs with this coalition.

    • michal tebay says:

      Re Water rates or taxes what happens when we get iced up following their introduction,will we still have have to to pay ? and when we go begging to the neighbors for water do we pay by the cup or by the bucket ?.

    • michael tebay says:

      what happens when the pipes freeze up and we are without water for days ,do we get a rebate?and when we are without water do we have to buy it from our neighbors?.

    • Peter Barrins says:

      I am tired of hearing various voices from the general left wittering on about a wealth tax – on what wealth would it be levied, would it be equitable, how much would it yield? I think it’s nonsense and empty rhetoric. The basic fact remains that tax revenue in Ireland is insufficient to fund public expenditure. The first thing which must be done (and I think it is underway) is a branch and root review of every single item of public expenditure. Anything that is unproductive or unnecessary must be taken out, so that a baseline figure can be arrived at. In my view that baseline should provide for a top quality health and education service, but it has to be funded by taxation revenues. Unfortunately we are still suffering from the outrageous policy of FF/PD governments, where taxation was decreased and public spending increased – it should never, ever have happened and now it must be reversed. I see no reason why there should not be a charge for water, the same as any other utility, or a property tax in line with the rest of the developed world. The infrastructure that surrounds property has to be funded and without this infrastructure property would be worth even less or inaccessible. I think Irish people want everything but feel, in many cases, that it should be free or paid for by someone else! Labour costs are still too high, but I do not think that the least well off should be hit first and have serious doubts if such reductions will be reflected in reduced restaurant, hotel and other prices. I am in the west of Ireland this week and I’m shocked at the stupdly high food prices in restaurants and bars, relative to the east of the country – and often for inferior quality fare and service. Businesses are failing because of poor quality produce and service which people, who are now very discerning, are not willing to purchase. Amazingly many businesses remain oblivious to this fact, preferring to think it has something to do with overheads and the recession, when it does not. It’s really time to get back to basics across the board – it will happen eventually, but the sooner it does the sooner things may start to improve.

    • Peter Barrins says:

      Mise Elvira, how on earth can you wish for the return of a FF government which, over a 14 year period, in conjunction with the PDs, implemented economic policies that have proven fatal? Perhaps you might explain? Personally, I hope your wait will be an extremely long one!!

      Michael Tebay, you need to look at the overall system/position. If there is a storm and your electricity is cut off, the standing charges still apply. I see no reason whatsoever why water should not be charged for, as with any other utility. I agree that the infrastructre must be improved and perhaps the revenue from water charges will provide for this.

    • Peter Barrins says:

      Daniel, at the end of ten years there will be no wealth, no capital, and everyone will be poor. I guess, at the point, Joan Collins and the PBP crew will probably advocate revolution.

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