Paying the property tax
Sir, – It was extraordinary reading the comments attributed to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan during the cropped property tax debate.
He claimed the tax was “fair and progressive”, yet a home owner in a €350,000 house earning €1,200 a week will pay the same as a State pensioner living on €230 a week or a person on €188 job seeker’s allowance living in a similar house. This is not “fair or progressive”.
When confronted on this, the Minster’s opinion was “everyone should make a small contribution”. To those living on basic fixed incomes and those in negative equity, €5/6/7 a week would mean one less hot meal each week. There is absolutely no regard for “ability to pay” other than to offer a “deferral” which carries a 4 per cent charge – which is nothing other than the poor being penalised for being poor. The last time we saw that in Ireland was under the Poor Laws.
This tax, with its absence of any “ability-to-pay” protection, is clearly a case of the well-off protecting the well-off at the expense of the money poor. Only a Fine Gael/Labour government could arrive at the conclusion that this is a “fair and progressive” tax. This Government is not only inept, it is also extremely dangerous. – Yours, etc,