After we'd looked at what the Market had to offer yesterday, some friends and I sat in its nicely old-fashioned cafe and had a cuppa, and the talk, as so often nowadays, turned to the situation in Ireland. Someone mentioned the new property tax.
|The Market has lots of good things on offer. Like these...|
Now I should explain that we have no council charges, domestic rates, property taxes or whatever they are called in other parts of the world. I have even heard it said that 'rates' is a swear word in Ireland, a hark-back to the bad old days of the British. Fair enough.
I have even heard it said that 'promises were made' that such an evil would never be re-introduced.
(Perhaps it was a Government that made that promise. Enough said.)
The new Property Tax is going to be a hundred euros per household.
Well - this year, anyway.
Once they have managed to make the country swallow the idea that rates (that old swear word) are indeed on the annual menu, then I suppose the sky's the limit.
I guess you may all be gasping with amazement that we don't have a local taxes of some kind, but we're not getting away Scot free. Ireland is an expensive place to live, everything seems to be loaded, one way or another and we have a high rate of VAT, high road tax, income tax, some people pay water rates (soon everyone will pay water rates) and so it goes on... And if you want your rubbish collected (what else can you do with it in a country where bonfires are illegal?) you pay a private company...
Back at the table yesterday, someone voiced the opinion that the new tax was illegal. Someone else said you couldn't be forced to register for it. Only one person said they didn't mind paying, as the government needs the money - how else can it claw back the gazillions Ireland owes?
Another person said 'But it's not my debt!'
I'd have to agree with that one.
We then got on to discussing all the side issues - corruption, the lack of justice being meted out to the wankers, sorry - bankers who caused all the problems in the first place, the bonuses still being paid by the banking sector 'so that we can continue to attract the right kind of employees'.
That really worked last time.
And the fact that the Irish secretly admire a chancer, someone who flouts the system and gets away with it. Lots of 'chancers' in positions of authority here.
It comes, one person said, from all the years of trying to get one over on the British.
Very true. But as she pointed out, now they are getting one over on themselves.
Not such a result perhaps.
|and these soaps...|
We discussed the current gloom and doom in the country and the sorry fact that the economy is flatter than last weeks pancakes.
It was what we didn't discuss that I found myself thinking about afterwards.
We didn't discuss standing up and shouting about it.
Or marching, or fighting back.
Or even having a jolly good riot. Riots seem popular in other places.
Riots, it seems to me, come about when people don't think they are being heard.
But you have to say something for there to be any chance of being heard.
Is anyone in Ireland shouting?
For shouting to be effective, it needs to start somewhere and grow.
Maybe the Property Tax would be a good starting point.
Why it needs to be levied in the first place.
We've all given up dreaming that with all the bank debt ladled onto Everyman's shoulders, there would be some kind of moratorium on mortgages, but at the very least everyone who pays the Property Tax ought to get the same amount knocked off their mortgage bill.
That's something else we could shout about.
We refilled our cups and the chat moved on to other things.
|not to mention these samosas and goat's cheese tartlets...|
And now I am wondering. Is it just my perception, or is that the problem?
In Ireland we love sitting around a table with a cuppa, chewing the fat.
We can do that for an Olympic Gold.
We're not given to shouting enough.
And I can't see a riot taking place.
So I guess we're all just going to pay.
|and locally made cards and crafts.... It's a very good Market!|