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Cough..... The Household Tax.... Cough

I didn't even want to write a piece on the now infamous household tax as I believe it has run its course, even with me, someone who doesn't have to pay it and wouldn't even if I had a home. I'll keep it short and hopefully sweet, I promise, but I guess you have recognised my stall has been set out already.

This week, the now infamous villain "Big Phil", riled at least 50% of the countries population, by uttering the cliches and lines, we as a nation, have got so used to hearing from our elected representatives. But the horror show didn't end there, Supervillain Shatter stepped to the fore, to tell over a million Irish citizens to "Get a life" and that it was "only €100" because we weren't being the obedient little dictatorees Fine Gael envisaged and so desire in this time of crisis, and all this at a time that Germany loses control of its memory of their very recent history. There is no doubt about it, but the combination of another appalling round of PR and advice for the government, the stupid and pig ignorant attitude of Phil Hogan and the snobbish attitude of Alan Shatter, a man I am sure has never had to worry about such mundane things as where his next meal is to come from, ensured that the communication and execution of this new tax has been an absolute disaster, on par, I believe, to the E Voting machines fiasco.

Let me make it absolutely clear, I have no real problem with a €100 household tax or even the concept of a household tax. However there are three fundamental problems with the current one. Firstly, a household tax must be fair. Introducing a flat tax, no matter how "introductory" that €100 may be, is not fair and not acceptable. If you are going to introduce a new tax, for the love of God, get it right the first time. Secondly, anyone I know who has bought a new house in the last fifteen to twenty years has paid a crucifying rate of stamp duty, stamp duty they will still be paying off through the mortgage on their home which has no doubt been hit by negative equity, from their salary now reduced or defunct. Some people just can't take anymore, a concept I believe politicians are cushioned from by the comfortable and secure padding of the Leinster House walls. But probably most importantly, what in the name of God are these supposed services we are going to miss out on? For example where my parents live the only service they have outside the boundaries of their walls is a road with grass growing in the middle of it, a road I was sure we paid a high rate of road tax for? There are no lights, no parks, the cleaning of the area is carried out by the residents. Where I live a management fee is paid monthly for the upkeep of the area. So I don't exactly know what vital service either I or my parents are going to miss out on? Perhaps Cork county and city council won't be able to fund their separate vanity houses of City Hall and County hall, two buildings that have both recently got massive overhauls, and would look more representative of a city the size of New York. But most importantly Ministers, next time you try to introduce a new, flawed and unfair tax in a time of deep austerity and economic hardship, for the love of God, keep your ministers on a leash and get it introduced by someone with a bit more public appeal than Phil Hogan.

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