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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 29, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    So who’s to blame for the household charge fiasco?

    Harry McGee

    I read an article in The Observer a few weeks ago that examined the acceptance (or, more accurately, the non-acceptance) of blame in politics. It quoted a book on the subject. Its title told you everything you need to know about politics and politicians (and quite a number of other professions too).
    It was called: Somebody is to Blame (But Not Me).

    To me, the title was ingenius, containing as it did a universal truth about our political class, but also about the human condition.

    In politics, an excuse or justification (no matter how outlandish) will always out-trump an apology or an admission of blame.
    Thus, Bertie Ahern’s North Dublin retelling of 1,001 Nights with his fantastical tales of winning money on horses; his dig-outs;  and fund-raising dinners attended by men without names in Manchester.
    Thus, Fianna Fail shifted the blame for the economic crash on to Lehmans and ‘a perfect storm’ and whatever you are having yourself. Responsibility was denied, blame was spread… nothing to do with me folks.
    This phenomeon isn’t confined to politicians but they have made it into an art form. When we journalists made a big faux pas we invariably blame the subeditors for sloppy handling of our copy, even though – sometimes! – we should have been caught bang to rights.

    When the reports of the inquiries were published we saw political parties in the firing line proclaim they would accept responsibility. And they did. But it was always heavily qualified. Sure Fianna Fail had to go heavy on Ahern and the disgraceful Padraig Flynn and other corrupt councillors. But it was more ambivalent when it came to its attitude to Fianna Fail ministers who were busily spinning against the Tribunal when Ahern gave evidence (though I thought the three tribunal judges doth protest too much). And the party’s ambivalence towards Brian Cowen (another architect of its demise) was demonstrated at the Ard Fheis when Micheal Martin’s criticisms of him were loudly applauded… yet he also got a huge round of applause when he was namechecked as he appeared in the hall. Condemned and forgiven in the one breath.

    And then Fine Gael promised it would be ready to face the might of the Moriarty Tribunal head on and implement all its recommendations. But it too has been ambivalent…with its continuing relationship with Denis O’Brien as well as its convoluted explaining away of the convoluted path travelled by the contribution he gave to the party in the 1990s.

    And away from inquiries, it happens one every conceivable level.

    Take the example of this week as we have seen Coalition Ministers gradually distance themselves from the household charge fiasco.

    True, a more contrite Phil Hogan appeared before his parliamentary committee last night.

    But it seemed that despite that he and his Fine Gael colleagues have been playing musical chairs with the blame.

    Thus, it is the fault of disloyal Labour Ministers like Joan Burton and Brendan Howlin who have been talking it down.

    Thus, it it the fault of Fianna Fail who gave us the Celtic Tiger for 16 years but didn’t give us a proper database of households. Thus the Government couldn’t issue bills or invoices and didn’t even know if there were 1.6m households or not.

    Thus, it was the fault of the company contracted to produce the leaflets  that didn’t manage to distribute the information to every household in the country.

    In essense: Somebody is to blame (but not me).

    • Paddy19 says:

      Talking of taking responsibilities, when will The Irish Times take responsibility for selling its soul to the property gangsters.

      The continued weekly million euro spread on the front page of its property supliment is clearly designed to persuade the little people that a measly 300,000 for a semid is great value.

      When will see some real journalism in the property supliment?

      The sickening waffle is not worthy of a paper of record.

    • Jerry Bolger says:

      Hogan failed to organise a national mailshot. Something that is done at every election and referendum without problem.
      Hogan backed down on the septic tank charge, signalling that he would do the same for the household charge.
      Hogan insisted that the tax was “unfair” on every radio interview.
      Hogan failed to organise a stable website for collection or to arrange payment at post offices.
      Hogan is now associated with the Mahon Tribunal by his cancellation of six planning inquiries that might uncover wrongdoing by Fine Gael councillors.
      He has no moral authority.

    • barb.ie says:

      It is now QUITE CLEAR that this current coalition could not organize a piss-up in a brewery, and if they went to the people tomorrow they would be swiftly sent back into the stupor of oblivion from whence they groggily emerged…

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      The sleveen gene is hardwired into our DNA and was long before the English arrived. The Gaelic system was based on patronage as was the Norman system. Who was it betrayed the Earl of Desmond to his enemies but an Irish person and who was it betrayed Lord Edward FitzGerald but an Irish person. History is littered with examples of Irish people being betrayed by their own so Haughey and Ahern and all the crooks across all parties and all levels (including those who sat on their hands and did nothing) are just the most recent in a long line.

      How to change it. Hmmm.

      Phil Hogan is an old school politico as is Kenny and Noonan.
      Their approach to politics is to ask ‘tell me why I can’t …’ instead of ‘tell me how I can …’ – you can cut pensions for ‘ordinary’ people but you can’t cut the pensions paid to politicians.

      No one made Kenny and Co lie about the household charge before the election or uni fees or closing hospitals, they were going to win the election anyway and when LAbour claimed it wouldn’t do any of these things then FG could have pointed out the lie but when it came to the crunch FG reverted to sleveen cronyism. They couldn’t help it.

      So far not once has a member of the government admitted that something went wrong and will be put right. The second they took office they instantly took the stance that no matter what the evidence presented is the ‘system’ is never wrong.

      Hogan can’t say now there will be extra time but he’ll have to after Saturday.

      But of course given Enda Kenny alone has lined his pockets with nearly €1million in tax free unverified expenses since 2002 (€43k from Fine Gael as a ‘leaders allowance’ since 2002 is €430k then according to the Oireachtas website he claims an average €4k per month which adds up to €480k) how can he provide any moral example?

      I wonder what a review of Enda Kenny and Phil Hogan voting records when they were Cllrs would reveal as we can sure it wasn’t only in Dublin there was widespread corruption and cronyism.

      But then of course people in the media like you Harry failed to do your job properly because you need to feed from the beast and your access is linked to how nice you are in your reports. Catch 22 – if you report without fear or favour you won’t get the same level of access.

      You don’t see reporters in Westminster backslapping and drinking with the people they are meant to be holding to account.

    • popeye says:

      BULL HOGAN the bully of FG ‘ people don’t like to be threatened and that is what BIG PHIL has tried to do .It wont work Phil may as well back your bags.

    • no time says:

      Many Irish journalists dont print the truth. Harry is not one of them. he takes a facts based approach and that makes him more objective in my view. harry has printed material that was not profitable nor popular to do in the interests of truth

      sorry harry im rushing but i really felt the need to stand up for you. sorry its not more polished.
      someone you have helped

    • Keith says:

      Not to respread the blame again, but if the people really had a big problem with politicians not accepting fault or blame, they’d re-elect those who accepted it and dispose of those who didn’t. But they don’t. The people reward politicians who deflect blame and punish those who accept it.
      So what do you expect politicians to do?

    • jaygee says:

      The best get out of jail card has to be “mental reservation”.

    • Pat Mc Caffrey says:

      Do the over paid, over pensioned civil servants take any responsibility for this or any other debacle?
      What was the role of The Secretary of The Department, the Assistant Secretaries, all the Principal Officers and their assistants? They should be asked to produce their Implementation Plan for examination by a Dail Committee and scrutiny by the public. Phil Hogan’s failure could be then examined in the context of the role played by the vast self serving bureaucracy.

    • Siobhan says:

      the first few paragraphs of this article remind me of Santry Cross & Dublin City Council.

    • Denis McClean says:

      1 million households were not intimidated yet by the government and a large proportion of the registered 600000 were but we don’t know how many. The result is that the people do not want this charge to be applied. How can the government continue to intimidate citizens when they have a very clear democratic instruction to do away with it? Is it still democracy when the elected government decides to go it alone because the citizens are not educated enough to be listened to? We now need some fundamental change to our system after FG and Lab are put on the dole Q. I hope that part of it still works.

    • alan says:

      the household charge is simple. Log on and Pay, fill out a form a chq and post, SIMPLE. The reason for the fisco is that the no campaign was convincing a lot of people the government would back down and no one would have to pay. The government are right not ot back down.
      It doesn’t matter who is to blame for the state we are in, but we have to get out of it ourselves. No one from the ULA or sinn fein have told us how they are going to raise the extra €23billion we need to run the country ie the diff in the €32bn in tax take and the €55bn to run the country. All they say is wealth tax, which would bring in €1billion still need another €22bn.

    • BB says:

      Phil Hogan must be sent out to graze…………….dreadful cock-up by this minister………..dreadful….

    • E J Murray says:

      I think the voters are playing games and laughing at the ineptitude of the current government. People here have had enough of being walked on by overpaid and under-talented leaders.

    • conchubharod says:

      Why have so few people registered or paid for the household charge, with only 24 hours to go?

      1. No proper information campaign was ever planned or executed. We are receiving constant reminders, on TV and radio, to pay our *TV licence* (fair play to An Post!), but not a word about the household charge in those same advertising slots… Discussion of the issue on the national news does not count as ‘information’! We needed to be told in plain language, on TV and on Radio, what the charge was all about… to be shown screen shots of the internet form, to be walked through the process. The government’s inability to generate a flyer in time on the basis that a printing company had gone out of business is simply laughable – why not call up a new printing company and give the job to them? But TV and Radio was the way to go. If you want to raise nearly €200m, you can afford €3-5 million on proper marketing! The result is that people are genuinely confused at to what this charge is, what it is for, how it should be paid, when it should be paid. There is even confusion about what it is called – the Household Charge? The Property Tax? Take your pick…

      2. The government overestimated the willingness of Irish people to use e-government services, i.e. to fill in forms and transact with them online. This should not been a surprise to them. In 2010, the European Commission reported that we were behind the European average in this regard, with only 27% of us using e-government services in the last 3 months, vs. over 80% in Denmark. It is clear that an alternative payment mechanism needed to be put in place to a) internet, and b) local authority offices. The inability to bring An Post or similar operator with local reach and universal accessibility on board in time to process the payments is inexcusable. Excuses such as “EU procurement process” and the like are just that – excuses.

      3. Oh, yes… and also it is true many people and groups are opposed to paying the charge in the first place. Many find it a hardship to pay. Others can pay, but do not want to for various reasons. But this factor, I believe, is a distant third – way way behind the other 2. By creating chaos via points 1 and 2 the government has opened the field for proponents of factor 3 to emerge and have a field day. Fair play to them. The government has only itself to blame on this one.

      Where to go from here? We need skilled, experienced project managers to run similar government projects in future. It does not have to be done in-house. For an example of a well executed project we don’t have to look much further back than eFlow – the vehicle payment and tagging system on the M50, East Link etc.), Let’s do it right next time!

    • Joe Aston says:

      The thing about the household charge is that it is about the first chance we’ve had to send the Government a hard message that we are not at all happy with what they have been doing with our money, and what’s more, one is inclined to suspect that it will merely follow the other billions into the bottomless maw of bailed-out bankers and speculators. If they want to convince us that it will indeed be spent where it is supposed to be, why not give it directly to the local Councils?

    • Marian says:

      Just so we’re clear, the reason the household charge is being introduced is because Sean Fitzpatrick ran a casino bank for 30 years, because Michael Fingleton did the same, while Bertie, P Flynn, Ray Burke and the other corrupt gurriers in FF filled their pockets and looked the other way, all while the Regulator and the Central Bank were asleep at the wheel.

      Phil Hogan said Ireland has to show the world we pay our debts. Sure – but these aren’t our debts!

    • Nial O Reilly says:

      The Household Charge is a fascinating brick in the wall of the evolution of our tax system. It is demonstrating with elegant beauty what always happens in this country. Some people pay their way and some people don’t. The Government now has visibility on who the players are in this game and it will be interesting to see how they follow through.

      It seems we have been guilty over the years of not listening to those who know i.e ‘the dogs in the street’. ‘The dogs in the street’ know that many people in this country don’t pay their way. We have people who are net beneficiaries of the state and people who are net contributors. The household charge will gives us visibility on who’s who. Stick to your guns Phill Hogan you’re playing a blinder. What we need in this Country is authenticity and rigour.

      Pay up……..your local council needs the money. A coffee less per week will cover it, you can still, smoke, drink and back horses but you may have to cut down further to pay the charge in future as it increases (which it has to) but it will be for the good of the Country…and yourself I dare say!

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      @12 Alan, the €100 is not the issue. The issue is the dishonesty from the government about where the funds raised will go to and how much the tax will be next year and the years afterward. It’s all very well to say €100 a year is affordable now but what happens when it’s €1,000 or €100 per month and in return the moeny just disappers into a black hole to bail out the banks?

      Why is it paid to central government – why isn’t it paid to each local council or paid centrally for easy admin and then immediately dispersed to the relevant local council.

      I pay €1,200 a year in council tax and I pay it directly to the local council and I get a statement showing me to the penny where it gets spent locally.

      The other thing that annoys is how Hogan and Alan ‘Marie Antoinnette’ Shatter have reverted to type and no matter the system is never wrong. Would the sky fall in if Hogan admitted the whole thing was a mess and that he didn’t personally design the process but now he’s aware of the farce he’ll get it sorted. Or for Shatter to just not talk at all.

    • barbera says:

      Spinning doesn’t work any more. We, the people, are too savvy.
      The situation “on the ground” is dire and the response by the people (even those who have paid) to Big Phil’s threatening attitude re this latest manoeuvre to get monies from the oppressed in this country is a sure indicator of public opinion with regard to this coalition government, where the two-headed leadership consists of a pompous little blunderer (that will always be remembered for closing Ireland’s historic embassy to the Holy See at Rome) and a chimera character that has been prepped to smile for the photo op whilst the bully boys behind the chimera get on with the shady business of imposing ancient authoritarian nationalist political ideals on a bewildered people ripe for manipulation…

    • Peter Burke says:

      I cannot believe the pure unadulterated rubbish I’m seeing and hear about the Household Charge – the precursor to a real property tax which is the one guaranteed way to get much needed money from the really well off. The so-called campaign against the charge is a joke which by coincidence has given huge and unprecedented publicity to the charge. All this nonsense about people not knowing about it is pure bull. If you live n the heart of the community as I do you will know that everybody knows about the charge and you will also know the ones who want to avoid it are the same ones who destroyed the Bin -Collection programme by hopping on the bandwagon and refused to pay, thereby forcing their neighbours – their honest neighbours – to pay more to cover their negligence. That particular campaign ended in disaster for the really less well-off, pensioners etc who will now have to pay while the so-called campaigners disappear into a hole and then re-emerge as the Anti Household Charge who are once again encouraging people to break the law – crimilalising innocent people while they get unprecedented and highly undeserved publicity for their nauseating behaviour.
      The fiasco, if there is one, is caused by the Anti Household Campaign who are advocating breaking the law plus their friends in the media who are giving them tons of publicity (very unbalanced publicity I might add).
      The joke of the campaign is that (so-called) left-wing politicians are opposed to a property tax aided and abetted by the likes of ‘pinky’ from Wexford (now there is a real joke).
      The rest of us are trying to save the country – now there’s a real campaign waiting to be worked up!

    • niall says:

      A good article, but one that, like the rest of the IT’s coverage fails to address the fact that the reason the government failed was not because of bad management but because of bad policy. Even now, the IT continues to frame its discussion of the issue in terms favourable to the government – terms that the majority do not accept. People either couldn’t pay or simply refused to pay because they consider it unjust to ask a poor pensioner to pay the same amount as Bono and O’Brien. This has been the greatest act of civil disobedience in decades. It is time for the IT to show the Irish people the respect they deserve.

      Introduce a progressive tax on all wealth or even just all property and watch the opposition melt away.

    • Marc Coleman says:

      3 things need to be done before imposing any new local authority tax:

      1. Reform local government
      2. Reform local government
      3. Reform local government.

      Reason charge is not going well is because government didn’t do those 3 things. Got it?

    • alan says:

      @marian even if you woke up tomorrow to the news that all our debts including the banking debt was to be wriiten off “whippee” can you let the governement know where you can get the extra €23bn to run the country. This is the question nobody like sinn fein or richard boyd barret or Joe Higgins will answer. The phrase wealth tax sounds good but they never give the full details on what wealth and if it would bring in the extra €23bn needed to run the country

    • Brian says:

      Apologies re earlier typos.

      Brilliant summary Marian.

      Kenny Gilmore Hogan are no better than the previous “gang”….such arrogance and such incompetence. See how they pompously lectured us re the Cardiff debacle (Kenny and Gilmore “he is the right person for the job and I stand over the appointment”…….how can they say this with a straight face ?). Then Hogan (Hulk))….we decided to tax you but we did not consider it necessary to tell you….even FF with all it’s crooks would never have displayed such incompetence.

      No one from an Taoiseach down is accountable nor even wants to be. Nothing has changed except that we now have more failed teachers et al messing up our country. Why oh why ?

      Ireland needs competent leaders in Government more than ever. Kenny Gilmore Hogan do not measure up.

      Such arrogance……….such incompetence.

    • fuming taxpayer says:

      My God. Have you all seen Jody Corcoran’s exclusive in the Sunday Indo today………unbelievable..

      “Phil Hogan refuses to pay €4k service charges on his Portugal holiday penthouse”

    • Ann Cummins says:

      I am not against property tax. Make it fair and just and I will pay. I have a small two bedroom bungalow and object to paying the same amount as those who live in big mansions. I am tired of “Half Baked” ideas and laws coming from this government with the promise that they will straighten them out next year-straighten them out first and then come to the people with them. Phil Hogan and indeed Alan Shatter need to get in touch with reality-with the people on the ground. They need to think before they speak.Most people (myself included) do not respond to bullying or intimidation.

    • JOD says:

      Would suggest Michael Davit would put the blame fairly and squarely on the twin curses of IReland he identified: strong drink and moral cowardice. To which I’d only add the National Sports of nodding winking and turning blind eyes to any amount of cowardice inhumanity and rapine.
      So long as there’s a buck in it. Yep. Cast thy bread upon the waters &c.

    • Ger says:

      The Government failed miserably in collecting this tax. No bill of any sort was sent to my house, but now they will send warning (threatening) letters to those who didn’t pay. They still don’t get it. If I was in government I would be considering the implications of a revolt in the upcoming referendum. Do they no realise that we don’t like being bullied by arrogant “tough” guys. It feels like being bullied by your school teacher……………………..

    • barb.ie says:

      Essentially it all goes back to our first parents in the Garden of Eden…………Adam blamed the woman……..the woman blamed the snake………..

    • arbera.o says:

      This all goes back to our first parents and the Garden of Eden……..Adam blamed the woman………the woman blamed the snake……..

      @19 Des Fitz……..well said

    • Ger says:

      Now it’s the threat of the revenue commissioners if you don’t pay…………………..

    • barbera says:

      One thing has emerged. €100 clearly means absolutely nothing to a certain percentage of people in this country (clearly less than half) and they have paid this “household charge” tax, which will not inconvenience them financially in the slightest. How could they, is my question, knowing that so many people in this country (clearly way over fifty percent) are struggling to even put food on the table, never mind deal with yet another stealth tax. Phil Hogan’s badly thought out scheme (backed by this coalition), and even more so his belligerent attitude and arrogance is already dividing the people. The people are at least at Defcon 3 with regard to the possibility of mass civil unrest in this country imo…

    • Mac says:

      I do not understand why the “local Authorities” need more funding from ” THEIR CUSTOMERS” ….we would not return to a shop or restaurant that provided unacceptable service, likewise why pay a HOUSEHIOLD CHARGE FOR AN UNACCEPTABLE REDUCED SERVICE ( PHIL HOGAN CLARIFIED THAT FOR US, IN HIS NON-PAYMENT OF HIS OBLIGATIONS RE HIS OFFSHORE INVESTMENT IN A PROPERTY IN THE MOST EXCLUSIVE AREA OF THE ALGARVE). Laterly some local authorities, like mine , have outsourced ” ” the waste collection service ,”( IN MY CASE THE SERVICE HAS IMPROVED) which they claimed was costing them “MILLIONS”, to private cos,. I need not go into the consequences where in some cases…the airwaves have almost turned blue with the complaints from the “victims” of this non-transparent action. Despite the costs and the published figures of the various tribunals ..THERE IS NONO TRASPARENCY evident.. Let’s begin by the disclosure , by EACH AND EVERY LOCAL AUTHORITY , of the REAL COST OF THEIR OVERALL EXISTENCE, IN THE FORMAT OF PRIVATE REQUIRED COMPANIES I.E, Staff, savings , seprate ( TO INCLUDE AS A SEPERATE ITEM …..ANNAUL ACCOUTS , THE REDUNCACY COST ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECENT …NON=THOUGHT OUT INCENTIVE BASED OFF LOADING OF STAFF, WHICH OF COURCE HAS ON =GOING PENSION COSTS, NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN THE IDEA OF INCREASING THE PENSION YEARS …..HELLO, MORE IMPORTANTLY THE REAL COST OF COUNCELLERS/LOCAL/TOWN//ADVISORS/CONSULTANTS/PERKS/ JOLLIES TO COUNTRIES OF NO RELEVANCE…..HELLO WOULD A TRIP TO I.E PEDESTRIAN … Transport/fuel/maintenance etc.,} and the Sale Proceeds of this transfer ?????. and the REAL COST of their activities, to enable us to offer constructive contributions on how, they too can manage on reduced spending power.
      I need not go into the the increased motor tax (BIASED AGAINST THOSE WHO TOOK THE RESPONISIBILTIY OF PURCHASING LOWER EMISSIONS CARS) …..WHY WOULD YOU PENALISE YOURSELVES AND YOUR RICH FRIENDS WHO DRIVE THE TOP CLASS TROPHY ( I HAVE MADE IT CARS)???????????///amongst a long list of others including a “NEW” call out fee for Fire Brigade and what ir appears a reduced Library service in some areas . reduced from 6 to 3 days opening of the local FINGAL bring re=cycling centre/, OVER A YEAR AGO

    • mac says:

      Harry Mc Gee , I have previously admiired your fair contrbutions …so you will forgive me for not once but twice ny contribution has just dissappeard from your blog….last whilst I was editing ///……system advised I had already “said that” and automatically deleted my contribution . Am I having, and I will not quite sAY SO …….A CENSORSHIP ISSUE ………i DO NOT NEED TO REMIND Y AND THE IT …..that bad laws would never have been changed Slavery, Apartheid,, UK poll Tax , An Song Sui Chi at the moment, Algeria, Libya, Egypt …and soon hopefully others if people did not protest by footfall, IT etc., I do not have any problem giving y may no 01.8200 490 should y wish to get a real opinion

    • M.H. says:

      The Household Charge is:

      # Unjust – it targets many who cannot afford to pay, and have no exceptions for those people;
      #Stupid – one cent on petrol, for example, would bring in much more revenue, without the hassle this tax is causing for so many people.
      #Unfair – Property tax has already been paid in the form of Stamp duty, not to mention the huge VAT on materials.
      #For many people buying their own home is a great struggle, and many have made great sacrifices to do so. While accepting that members of Government are not equipped to understand this, would it not be possible for them to even hazard a guess as to how important to an Irish person is their home.
      # Law is for the people. Government, in a democracy, is elected to provide Law for the benefit of the citizens, not the pattern which has emerged in this country of the law-makers providing law for themselves and their supporters.
      #The Fine Gael manifesto clearly states that FG is opposed to taxes on private homes – a very strong factor upon which many (including myself) based their decision to vote FG in the last election.
      # We have been repeatedly told that the Troika is more interested in “the bottom line” rather than the detail, and that, as long as the end result accords with the overall plan, they are more than prepared to be flexible as to the precise means. Now we are being told “the Troika made us do it” – do they really expect us to believe them on both counts?

    • JOD says:

      FG can’t disassociate themselves from the man who bought his mobile phone licence. He has too much money and the old saying ”keep yer friends close and enemies closer still’ applies in Irish politics as much if not more than elsewhere. Money is God in this failed country. The power-hungry wealth-obsessessed RCC is proof of that; not to mention every gombeen and shoneen who has ever abused the system and destroyed lives and families and society itself, yet never feared the Law’s not-so-long arm. All the way back to the ironically named chap who came out with the truism about owing the bankss 5 million and them having you by the shorts contrasted with owing the banks 500 million and you having them by the curlies or words similar. Nobody in this country who has enough money to buy the best lawyers need ever fear facing justice here. Because there is no such thing as justice here. There’s just us. And them. The have-nots and the have-it-alls.

    • JOD says:

      Goes back a lot farther than Mr Goodman. Goes back a lot farther than the shoneens who’d tumble famine cottages in on top of their own near dead with hunger neighbours to grab their land during the Famine even and there was no shortage of them in fact what largely survived here were not unakin to those who survived the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. Primo Levi said of his own people ”We left the best of us behind in the Camps” by which he meant those least willing to do whatever it took to survive, the most gentle, most kind, most compassionate and so forth. Perhaps. Perhaps I’m wrong and it goes even farther back to the warring Irish tribes who could never get their act together enough to build a Nation that could keep out the invader by Her own co-operation fellow feeling national pride etc. The way the neighbours were able to. Perhaps it’s a Celtic thing. Brendan Behan once said if you dropped the neutron bomb and there were only three Irish people left in the world you’d find two of them in a corner conspiring as to how to shaft the third. They can try and shaft us now with all their property taxes and appeals to ”patriotism” but its damn hard to feel patriotic about a place where one section of the population so readily and willingly shafts the rest so openly so unmolested unhindered and as Pearse said Ireland’s leaders always betray Her in Her hour of need so why am I each and every day still giving a shit about any of it? Airport’s that-a-way. I’m not even a citizen. It should be so easy to just leave….

    • JOD says:

      If you had a second currency a domestic currency usable purely in domestic commerce like as in to buy Irish goods and services you could incentivise people to register for the household tax in exchange for certain credits that could be made to accounts opened for them in some sort of State strategic/enterprise bank. Credits would be in the domestic currency or scrip I called it Punts Abhaile on John Collins’ blog and would have a variable euro exchange rate (euros still would be used in international transactions i.e. arrivals and dispatches and imports and exports)) depending on how long you left the credits in the account on deposit or in some sort of Irish Recovery Bond. Like if you left them for six months before cashing them in for euros or domestic scrip you could get euros at face value discounted 90% or if you left them a year 75% or 2 years 45% or 3 years 20% etc. Or you could get face value in domestic currency straight away that you could use to buy Irish goods and services priced at a dual Euro/Punts A rate or even pay tax in a blended payment of tax and Punt A’s. It’d be an incentive to give people back a proportion of the stamp duty they originally paid on their properties in this manner, so as to incentivise them to register and pay the property tax, and it’d kick-start the domestic currency and moreover allow us to eke out precarious living taking in each other’s washing and cutting each other’s hair if the EUro or the EU go into meltdown as well. And people could feel a lot more patriotic about supporting local industry by supporting a local currency. And if our EU lords and masters didn’t like it we could wait until we had a government with balls and tell them to tell them the alternative is for Ireland to exit the EU and enter some sort of EEA arrangement and repay Her debts in Punts A however long it took. Just a thought. I’m sure I’m not the first to think of it and I’m sure there’ll be all sorts of objections but it would be taking back a bit of sovereignty and the indefeasible destinies associated with same. Might cheer us all up. We could have Lady Lavery in a bikini on the new notes.

    • JOD says:

      Suppose given this new domestic scrip/currency could be used to buy any goods not just Irish made as long as it was a domestic transaction subject to Irish VAT or exempt you could also pay a premium if it were invested back into the State for long enough by holders, subject to its strenghtening against the euro in some sort of domestic index. Being just another fiat currency it would of course be subject to inflationary forces and would moreover rely on the strength of nothing but the promises ofsovereign government. Not sure if this lot of satraps is up to the mark there.

    • Scarecrows of the Stipe says:

      @ 12 @ 18

      You two are obviously in the category of people who can afford the charge and would be paying a lot more than € 100 if the charge was implemented fairly

      Probably over the moon that ye are getting away so lightly and have the gall to tell the rest of us to pay up then

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