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Household tax redux… February 26, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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The SBP notes that:

Self-employed workers will not be able to get tax clearance certificates if they do not pay the new property tax, it has emerged.

This had been the general analysis from those involved in the CAHWT, but it is interesting to see it now confirmed. And it is, naturally, yet another salvo in the on-going campaign the government is waging on the issue – particularly since the first of the 1.6 million letters to householders with estimates of their tax liability are going to be sent out in the next week or so.

In many respects the government has played this quite cleverly, clearly learning from the property ‘charge’ debacle. The room for movement is now extremely circumscribed, at least in terms of refusing payment, given, as the SBP notes…

The tax authority has been granted a range of new powers to secure payment of the new tax, including:
• mandatory deduction – from July 1, 2013 – from employment income, occupational pension or certain government payments;
• attachment of a bank account;
• referral of the debt to a sheriff or a solicitor for collection; and
• withholding any refund of other tax against local property tax due.

It will be interesting to see the tactics adopted in the face of these measures.

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1. Ghandi - February 26, 2013
eamonncork - February 26, 2013

The irony of it all is that while RTE journalists are persistently taking the side of IBEC and the like in attacking the public sector, the one part of the public sector which is an overpaid underworked sub-standard monopoly is RTE itself. Yet now Pat is going to nail everyone in the country to ensure that the broadcaster can continue to pay ludicrous sums to a pack of semi-literate chat show hosts.

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2013

The contradictions are amazing really. There’s a shamelessness to it that is appalling.

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eamonncork - February 26, 2013

You’d swear RTE was PBS rather than a producer of sub standard rip-offs of uninspiring BBC and ITV formats and an importer of foreign shows which in this day and age everyone can see on other channels anyway. Is Rabbitte seriously proposing to charge everyone in the country money, probably taken out of their wages again, so that RTE can pay Craig Doyle wages he wouldn’t get anywhere else?
I’ve always felt there should be an opt-out to the licence fee especially in the digital age and that people who wish to forego the pleasures of watching RTE shouldn’t have to pay to support it. I’d happily pay for BBC because there does seem to be a public service element there but RTE wants the best of both worlds, licence fee and commercial advertising while presenting piss poor programmes whose target audience seems to be people too addled to remember where they put the remote.
And, like I said, these are the very cossetted hoors who jump down the throat of anyone suggesting that austerity is a bad idea by taking up the cudgels on behalf of a private sector they’ve never worked in.

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2013

There’s a sort of pious attitude in that latter attitude one finds there.

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2. tomasoflatharta - February 26, 2013

Reblogged this on Tomás Ó Flatharta and commented:
What tactics can be used to defeat the property tax? That is a very pressing question because the boycott weapon, used pretty effectively against the bin and house taxes, will not work. No taxpayer can “boycott” tax increases deducted at source from pay by the state.

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2013

Key questions Tomas…

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ivorthorne - February 26, 2013

Get the same crowd who are administering the student grants to cover it. The government would be lucky to see a penny by 2016.

On a more serious note, you would need to make it very difficult to administer. We’d have to find some (difficult to fix) hole and publicise it. That may sound vague (and it is) but I have yet to encounter any system like this that is foolproof. I suspect the hack would have to involve something to do with the valuation.

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CMK - February 26, 2013

It’s not as clearcut as all the propaganda is making out. It’s considerably more difficult than the HHT boycott but still doable. We also still have to see how the legislation works once it’s released into what will be a volatile political context. Right now, the property tax legislation is like a brilliantly engineered fighter aircraft that has yet to take to the air. It looks fearsome but it’s still on the ground; how it performs when it gets into the air is completely unknown.

I suspect many public servants starting to see pay cuts and longer working hours are not going to be enthused by demands for a property tax. I rather suspect that many of the public servants on 65K or more year are working to service very substantial mortgages on properties with high nominal values and, consequently, property tax liabilities north of 500 euro. Many will have a second property and second mortgage (‘a sure thing, you’d be mad not to go for it!!’ ca. 2005) hanging over them and will have to cough up the property tax on the double as well as the NPPR tax.

These may well be people who have been hitherto able to take some pain by not going skiing or forgoing the yearly his and her motor upgrade or cutting back on following the six nations or the champions league. Now, many of them will start to experience real difficulty. Interest rates remain at historic low levels and can only go up, wages are going nowhere but down (thanks, ICTU!). It’s likely that this cohort, highly educated but probably politically non-committal, who also can’t emigrate, will have to start making hard choices, and they won’t like that.

The property tax is still a theoretical inchoate topic right now; once the bills start dropping we’ll start to get a better grasp of the contours of this debate and what is and is not possible in opposing it. It may well be that political factors blunt or negate the more draconian aspects of the legislation.

Also, bear in mind that while only half the 2013 rate is being applied this year the full 2014 rate will be levied in early 2014 along with water charges probably later in that year. And, we’re due to exit the bailout at the end of the year so the bond traders will now have to start pricing, as a serious proposition, Irish government debt. They decided we were bust in late 2010 when the debt/GDP ratio was still manageable, it’s exploded in the interim and the economy continues to stagnate. I think the CLR will see at lot of traffic in the months either side of Christmas.

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3. greengoddess2 - February 26, 2013

None of us can even talk about this for fear of being accused of inciting something. Or being expelled. Thought police backed by media. Scary

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