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Posts tagged ‘Family’

Talk about kicking people when they’re down

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

Author: Michael Taft of Notes on the Front

Published: December 12th, 2010

Section: Articles, Economy

Discussion: One comment

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Yes, the Government has taken a sledge-hammer to the living standards of low and average income earners. But sometimes it’s the little things that expose the venality of policy – the unannounced, below-the-radar, buried-in-a-table-on-page-34-of-an-annex little things.

Last year, when the Government was cutting both social welfare rates and Child Benefit, they increased the Child Dependency Allowances for families on social welfare – to compensate for the loss of Child Benefit. Here’s an example.

LittleThings 1 Last year, Child Benefit was cut by €16 a month, or €3.69 a week. This affected all families. But to ensure that child income support remained the same, the Government increased Child Dependency Allowances by €3.80 per week.

Okay, the family social welfare got hit by the cut in adult rates – but at least child income support was remained approximately the same. In fact, the Minister for Finance at the time made great play of this:

‘ . . . lower and higher rate of Child Benefit will be reduced by €16 per month, bringing these rates to €150 and €187 per month respectively. Welfare dependent families will be fully compensated by increasing the Qualified Child Allowance by €3.80 per week so that they will not be affected by this measure.’

This year they didn’t do that. The Government cut Child Benefit again – by €10 per month for the first and second children. But, unlike last year, they didn’t compensate families on social welfare. They kept the Child Dependency Allowances the same. This was the effect this year.

Little Things 2 This year, not only were adult rates cuts, but child income support was cut as well. Of course, the Minister didn’t refer to this.

In short, last year a family with one child on social welfare saw their income cut by -3.4 percent. This year, they suffered an even worse cut of -4 percent – owing to the Government’s policy of targeting child income support to the lowest income families.

This is all of a piece. The Government gives tax breaks to the highest income groups in society. And then they go after child income support for families living in poverty.

Talk about kicking people when they’re down.

source http://www.irishleftreview.org/

Budget 2011

By Charlie Weston

Wednesday December 08 2010

FAMILIES with children will be almost €3,000 worse off from the savage Budget changes announced yesterday.

The changes in income tax alone will suck almost €1,250 out of the pockets of a household on the average family income of €55,000.

On top of this, the family will be down heavily from cuts in child benefit. If the family has three children who still get child benefit, the hit will come to €480 a year from the reductions in this benefit.

Those families that are providing for their future by investing in a pension will end up having to shell out an additional €300, assuming they want to keep putting 6pc of their salary into a pension.

This is because those paying into a pension will now have to pay PRSI (pay related social insurance) and the new universal social charge (a combination of the old income and health levies) on the money going into their pension.

Households will also be hit by higher petrol and diesel prices, in a move that will cost the average driver around €72 a year.

The tax on savings is to rise by 2pc to 27pc.

If the family has another child who is in college, the cost will rise by another €500 in college fees to €2,000 a year for the first child.

Families that have a trade union member lose a tax credit worth €70 a year. Those families who use public transport to get their children to school will see a rise of €50 a year in this cost.

Although there were no changes to the two tax rates of 20pc and 41pc, there are other extensive changes to income tax.

The tax changes see the tax credits being cut, which effectively means people will pay more tax. For every €1 cut in the tax credits an extra €1 in tax has to be paid.

At the moment, a PAYE (pay as you earn) employee gets €1,830 as an employee tax credit. This has gone down by 10pc to €1,650. This effectively means a tax rise of €180.

There is the same reduction in the personal tax credit of €1,830.

The changes in the tax credits alone will cost all PAYE taxpayers €360.

On top of this there has been a change in the tax bands — this is the amount of money you can earn before you move from paying tax at the 20pc tax rate to the 41pc tax rate.

A single earner will now start paying tax at 41pc when they earn more than €32,800.

Up to now a single or widowed person could earn up to €36,400 before paying tax at the higher rate.

For a married couple with one income, the higher tax rate will kick in on income above €41,800. It is €45,400 up to the end of this year.



For married couples with two incomes, the level of income where the top tax rate applies falls from €72,800 to €65,600.

The combined changes in the tax credits and the tax bands will mean an estimated additional 300,000 people will be brought into the tax net.

The charge for a private bed in a public hospital will go up by 21pc, a measure which is likely to result in an increase in the cost of private health insurance.

Already this year 34,000 people have cancelled their private health insurance cover.

A rise of 21pc in the cost of a private bed in a public hospital will push up the cost of private healthcare premiums by between 5pc and 10pc. This is on top of any planned private healthcare rise next year. A family with two children will likely see their private healthcare rise by around €240 a year due to the higher costs to the likes of VHI for paying for beds in public hospitals.

Retired people with a private pension have been hit. At the moment, if a they earn less than €20,000 for a single person and €40,000 for a married couple, they pay no tax on their pension. But from next year tax along with the universal social contribution will be paid on income over €18,000 for the single pensioner and €36,000 for the couple.

“After many years of increases in the tax bands and credits, the momentum is now firmly in the opposite direction,” KPMG tax partner Eoghan Quigley told the Irish Independent.

“Taxpayers are now faced with further income tax rises in the following Budgets.”

– Charlie Weston

Irish Independent


“FAMILIES with children will be almost €3,000 worse off from the savage Budget changes announced yesterday.”

This is not quite the end figure as we still have to see the stealth taxes to be announced in the finance Bill but for starters we are going to see a Home tax and  water charges which will bring us up to a total of 4,000 per household at least!

He could be talking about Ireland

I agree we need to be concentrating of  industrious business ,why can’t I but Irish made shirts, shoes, Irish made bicycles, for god sake Irish made anything?

75% of our business here in Ireland is services, and we are now been forced to become debt servicing junkies by Cowen and his cronies.  

Unless we get up off our collective backsides we will be forced to vote in twiddle dummer when we get rid of twiddle Dee


Cowen as guilty as Sean Fitzpatrick

  Top Bankers and the Minister of Finance were told of the impending dangers and the outright reckles lending that was been done  by the Banks and their  institutions, the regulator ignored all warnings

Cowen is as guilty as Sean Fitzpatrick

 limerick accountant John Allen tells his story

The Poor can’t pay

These two Videos were sent to me to -day and are a powerful reminder of the real tragedy that so many of our people are going through as a result of the current economic crises

We must make sure that the venerable are not made the scapegoats for the mishandling of the economy by the political elite of this country  .

Letter in Saturday’s Irish Times…

Letter in Saturday’s Irish Times…

A chara,

I write to voice my concern about the future of this country. I am sitting on the steps of the Department of Justice & Law Reform, the sun is beating down on my shoulders and I write to expel a dark thought from my mind. What is to become of the disenfranchised generation of Irish citizens whose future happiness and prosperity in this country has been cast in great black shadows by the criminal activities of our financial institutions and the gross mismanagement of our national affairs by our trusted Government?

Like so many other young Irishmen and women, my partner and I have decided to leave Ireland to live and work in another country. I came to the city today to prepare some things for our trip and to say goodbye to the capital for a while, to soak in some of her unique flavour before departing for Perth in Australia. What is it that makes Ireland a special country? What are the deepest moral values that are the foundations of Irish society? As I walk, thinking about Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan’s recent announcement of the country’s national debt (death?) I was deeply concerned not that I no longer knew what this core moral value might be, but saddened to find that I no longer care.

Seemingly, the woeful economic state we find ourselves in is merely a symptom of a far more threatening problem – a spiritual or existential crisis at play in Irish society. My own sense of moral apathy makes me think a deep wound has been inflicted by the bankers’ greed and it is not in our pockets but sadly in the collective heart of the Irish people. We can endure the toxic financial wreck that is Nama’s balance sheet, the grossly unfair debt saddled so abruptly on honest, hard-working tax-payers.

We cannot endure however, the sheer sense of injustice and the total loss of moral law at the filthy hands of these so-called rogues and sleeveens (it is equally disheartening to see we have had cause over the years to establish a colloquialism to best describe such recurrent characters in Irish society).

An example has been set by the leaders of this country that their selfish and cynical behavior is an acceptable discourse in modern Ireland. Our potential to act meaningfully and righteously in this society has been shrouded in this cynicism by the greedy, ignorant brutes that head our banks and by the lackluster unimaginative politicians that sit in our Government offices.

As a young able man I am ashamed that my chosen course of action is not violent protest (there should be rioting in the streets outside Dáil Eireann and Anglo Irish Bank); rather I choose to leave the wreckage – feeling as if a bully has just entered the playing field, burst the ball and walked away.

Sitting outside the Department of Justice Law Reform, whose steps feel like empty totems of the now laughable notion of justice, I think that the task at hand is not to set the country’s financial institutions back on track. It is to inspire an entire generation of skilled workers leaving our shores to return at some point to rebuild Ireland in the spirit of honesty and hard work, with a belief in our ability to live for the prosperity of others as well as ourselves. – Yours, etc,


Raheen Park,

Bray, Co Wicklow.


The sad fact is we are losing the very best of our people to the rest of the world and I believe it is a policy of our current government to encourage this state of affairs. They keep the unemployment figures down and they don’t need to worry that new people will challenge the status quo at the next elections and they can carry on screwing the rest of us !

As a family man it is not possible for me to abandon Ireland nor do I wish to do so I will stand and fight for what I believe is right. We have a beautiful country with one of Europe’s oldest cultures, a proud tradition of rebellion against ternary

The fact it is we are been betrayed by people calling themselves Irishmen is an insult to the past generations of patriots who died for Ireland

Where are the modern patriots of to-day who will stand up against the crooks infesting the Dail and the gangsters that have taken control of the financial resources of our country thus rendering our independence worthless? We are no more independent than we were at the height of English rule!

If you don’t control your own finances you are not in control of your own life the same rules apply for countries. I just feel so “mad” and nobody is responsible, the lunatics are running the asylum somebody has got to do something !

Remember This?

Howard Beale: I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job., banks are going bust, Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.

All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.

Have Irish Banks questions to answer?????

Mortgage debt

Image via Wikipedia

Irish mortgage holders who were sold hopelessly overpriced Homes and banks that looked the other way when carrying out due diligence have a portion of blame and could have questions to answer

Perhaps legal grounds to default on contracts that were faulty in the first place is a real possibility for thousand of Irish mortgage holders

The Irish Banks are on very thin ground here and perhaps a class type law suit against these banks is a way forward.

Essential services and civil servants’ jobs are on the block!

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has insisted that the Government will not be walking away from the Croke Park deal
There has been increasing speculation that the agreement on public sector pensions and reform could be under threat, given the deepening crisis in the public finances.
But IMPACT, the union representing public sector workers, said it met with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan earlier this week and received assurances that the Government was still committed to the plan.
Tánaiste Mary Coughlan today reiterated the Government is still willing to live up to its end of the agreement:
“We are very much committed to the deal and we feel that it is the most appropriate way in which we can bring transformation in the public sector,” she said.
Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/coughlan-govt-still-committed-to-croke-park-deal-476607.html#ixzz11a5wQnq5
I wouldn’t bet on the government sticking to their word I will bet that they are just biding their time, one look at the graph below tells you that they have no choice in the matter.
The only doctors that are getting work are the government’s spin doctors.
Quietly all over the country beds and services are been closed and been removed, I found this report (Behind the Croke Park dealPDF) on such closures earlier this year and things have only gotten worse!
Bottom line the government has run out of money because of the financial lunacy of bailing out bankrupt banks and the gambling subordinate bond holders of Anglo Irish Bank
Essential services and civil servants’ jobs are on the block!

Save Wicklow Hospital

 With all the recent talk about cost cutting it is feared that the HSE are pondering the closure of the Wicklow Hospital so a demonstration is been organized by the save Wicklow Hospital group on Saturday, starting at Whitegates and ending at the Ball alley Wicklow town.
March starts at 14.30 hrs at Whitegates
If you are in the area and want to help save this, the town’s only hospital then do make the effort to come and support this noble cause.
Event been organized by save Wicklow Hospital group and is suported by the  Resident’s movement for political change

Wicklow round Ireland Sail Festival (slide show)

Fantastic day to-day at the Wicklow round Ireland Sail Festival

This has to be the best ever; the crowds came in their thousands. I caught these individuals  coming down the main street apparently he ,(the guy in black) was the Jailer and he was on the lookout for prisoners that escaped from Wicklow Jail

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