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Tax and income — a detail of our political priorities November 11, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Ethics, Ireland, Justice, Taxation Policy.
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This morning, I saw the breakningnews.ie story on what I assume is a “Sunday press release” from Mattie McGrath. The answer to a parliamentary question he asked established that 1,700 employees in four Irish banks earn receive more than €100,000 each.

In a moment of (poor-taste) whimsy, I wondered if anybody in IBEC is rewriting Martin Niemöller’s famous poem:

First they came for the top civil servants,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a civil servant.

Then they came for the judges,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a judge.

Then they came for the balied-out bankers,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a balied-out banker.

But I don’t think they need worry. I don’t hear the high earnings in the private sector questioned — whether that is the publicly traded companies whose financial results are public records or the legally private firms (like Dunnes Stores), where all is secret.

What I did hear though, was that on Friday, our good deputies put some time into debating Eoghan Murphy’s Tax Transparency Bill 2012. I am not surprised that the deputies understanding of tax transparency is ineffective and that the Bill is pointless. Real tax transparency would follow the Nordic model, where the amount of tax paid by everybody is a public record.

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Comments»

1. ejh - November 11, 2012

Rather pleased to see that strikethrough. I have been using “gets paid” rather than “earn” for about the last twenty-five years.

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2. Tomboktu - November 11, 2012

One of the juvenile ministers has got in on the act (displacing Mattie McGrath’s story from the front runner — he won’t be too happy with that):

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/white-salaries-enjoyed-by-top-bank-officials-too-high-573842.html

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3. Author Annette J Dunlea Irish Writer - November 12, 2012
4. Income Tax - November 17, 2012

Eoghan Murphy point that tax payers in the country had a right to know how the govt is spending their money is valid. If after the tax transparency bill is passed, people are able to see how their taxes are spent by the state then this will indeed improve people’s attitude towards paying taxes and also increase accountability of the govt. Let’s hope the bill turns out to be everything it promises to be.

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