Paradox of the Week..
“Ireland is a high tax country”
We have a marginal rate of tax (including Universal Social Charge and PRSI) of 52% which kicks in at €32,800, just above our average wage of €32,400.
“Ireland is a low tax country”
But compared with other countries, we pay less average income tax (including Universal Social Charge and PRSI) until we start earning more than 150% the average wage.
From the IMF report published earlier this week.
Horror Statistic of the Week
We know that the marginal rate of tax facing anyone earning over €32,800 in Ireland is a staggering 52% (comprising Universal Social Charge of 7%, PRSI of 4% and income tax of 41%), so if you’re earning €40,000 a year and someone offers you €100 for a couple of hours overtime, you’ll just take home €48 after deducting taxes of €52 from the €100. However if you earn €18,303 and your boss offers you an extra €1 for some reason, DON’T TAKE IT because you’ll pay €468.27 of taxes and charges on that €1. Yes, as revealed the IMF report published this week which contains a table of our income tax, the marginal tax rate between €18,303 and €18,304 is 46,827%.
Health Scare of the Week
An IMF report this week showed that in Ireland, we spend more of a proportion of GDP on the public health system than any other country in the world except the USA.
But in terms of the quality of our healthcare, we are waaaaay down the list.
Plus we found out from the IMF report that “generic drugs account for only one-fifth of all prescriptions, which compares poorly to four-fifth in neighboring United Kingdom.”
The IMF document suggests there is plenty of scope to save on the health pay-bill and on the cost of drugs.
Quinn saga instalment of the Week
The planned rally for tomorrow in Ballyconnell has been cancelled apparently, due to a bereavement. But the organisers, “Concerned Irish Citizens” had big plans for the rally which was set to be a repeat of the demonstration in July 2012 when about 4,000 people turned out in support of Sean Quinn . Here is a sample of the slogan ideas for protestors’ placards:
Government appeal of the Week
With the Labour-Fine Gael coalition set to be tested to breaking point in the three-month run-up to Budget 2013, both the Labour and Fine Gael parties held separate “think-ins” during the past week, and both have had an eye on the potential for internecine dissent, something which has even discomfitted the IMF recently. For Labour’s part, party leader Eamon Gilmore has come out and appealed for an early end to kite-flying season, graphically illustrated by Japlandic.com on here recently.
(Graphics above produced by Japlandic.com, contact here)
Iris Robinson award for rank hypocrisy
The quarterly tax defaulters lists produced by Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners have lost something of their power ever since Deputy Mick Wallace’s company agreed a €2.1m settlement over deliberately under-declared VAT, a settlement which is unlikely to be paid, whilst Mick continues to sit as one of 166 law-makers in the Dail. Questions in that case still remain over the under-declarations and the subsequent settlement reached with the Revenue Commissioners, and Mick says that no-one except his constituents in Wexford has the right to remove him, though they are not scheduled to vote again until 2016. But for all that, in a small country where seven-degrees-of-separation is actually closer to three degrees, there is keen interest in the quarterly list of tax sinners. The glamorous star of yesterday’s list might have been the 31-year old model, Glenda Gilson but her bill only came to a relatively modest €73,000. It was the former school principal and current “operator of a private school” Padraig O’Shea (pictured here) whose €705,000 settlement grabbed the headlines. Padraig is the former principal of St Joseph’s College in Borrisoleigh in Tipperary, a “family run co-educational secondary school” where Padraig is still listed as “manager”. Padraig and the school hit the national headlines earlier this year when it emerged the school had refused admittance to a pregnant teenager in 2009, with Padraig assuming the high moral ground saying his school “did not take such girls”. He later went on to give interviews where he defended his decision on the grounds of morality and moral standards. Like some American evangelist who has finally been found out, Padraig is today revealed as a sanctimonious hypocrite who metaphorically fornicated his fellow country men, women and children with a vast under-declaration of income tax. As Mick Wallace said “let he who has not sinned cast the first stone”, but then again we know from events in 2009 that such views are not compatible with Padraig’s outlook on life.
Table of the Week
The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council issued a report during the week in which it called for an extra €2.3bn of additional cuts and taxes in 2013-2015. The report provoked outrage from some quarters, but let’s not forget that the present plan is to cut and tax €18.7bn in 2013-2015 which dwarves the Council’s recommendation of an additional €2.3bn adjustment.