March 2012        


Poll tax mark 2

The coalition, according to Phil Hogan, are about to introduce a new version of the dreaded Thatcherite poll tax in Ireland. It is to be €100 per annum, whether you live in a luxurious mansion in Ballsbridge (such as the one owned by Denis O’Brien) or in a small two-bedroom flat in Ringsend.
     This goes against one of of the canons of taxation as set out by Adam Smith in the 1780s. This is that tax should be based on the ability to pay. This would mean that Denis O’Brien would have to pay more and the individual in Ringsend would pay less.
     Interestingly enough, Mr O’Brien may not have to pay the tax at all, as he is a tax exile. This is because wealthy individuals like Mr O’Brien persuaded successive Governments that it was not a good idea to tax them. The Governments created loopholes for them to earn income and pay tax (if any) in tax havens, such as Bermuda or Monaco.
     This analysis would apply to others, like Bono or J. P. McManus. If they paid their fair share of taxes in Ireland there would be no need for this poll tax.

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