Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So who hasn't been affected by this recession?

It's Budget Day again in Ireland.

There's lots of talk again about who is going to 'take the pain'.  According to The Sun, it will be carers, children, the poor and the elderly.  No surprises there then.  And unless you live in a silent wordless world you must know how many people are angry and frightened, as well as cold and hungry.

But I think there are those who have taken very little pain at all, and some may have even benefited from the recession.  They are the people you see laden down with carrier bags on Dublin's premier shopping streets, who drive home in their luxury 12D cars.  They pack out the distressed property auctions and hoover up the bargains.  With cash.

They are responsible for a 40% increase in advance holiday bookings.

I wonder who are these people?

...young professionals in well-paid jobs, who live at home or rent?

...middle-aged people at the height of their careers with no mortgages?

...those elderly who are lucky enough to be on good pensions?

...millionaires?

...money lenders?

...cash for gold shop owners?

...financial insolvency consultants?

Should these people be taking the pain as well?

Oh no, say the pundits and politicians.  Ireland needs these people.  They are the backbone of the economy.  Tax them and they will leave.  Apparently there was an exodus of millionaires from Britain following the introduction of a 50p rate of tax for top earners.

Really?

Or is that just part of the picture.  Millionaires fall on hard times too, it's happened in Ireland.  Perhaps some of them would prefer to pay their taxes in case they ever need services and welfare, just like the rest of us.

Perhaps they're not all selfish, perhaps some of them care about the less fortunate and would like to help?  Perhaps they will want to help Ireland recover...

And anyway, if they did go, would their loss to the economy be any more significant than the hemorrhaging of Irish people that we have now?  The thousands of emigrants who leave every year.  Young people, old people, families, all are leaving, and hollowing out communities all over the country.   The loss of talent, the loss of spending, including social welfare cheques, can be seen in boarded up shops around the country and the despair on faces in the streets.

It seems that today's budget will just make a bad situation worse.

2 comments:

  1. Not great news. It is hard to know what to say..... I really get that the cuts will be devastating to those who really need it; and it is so wrong that they have to suffer. Sure there are some wealthy folk out there who rip the system, however, there are also people who do pay 50% tax on their earnings and also give back. I didn't realize that people were leaving Ireland.... thought it was only here!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess that's what I'm trying to say: I know many better off people who quietly pay their taxes without complaint, no matter how high those taxes may be, and who give their money to charity and their time to good causes.

      But there certainly are people who have been less affected by this recession and the latest budget will not impact greatly on their standard of living,

      Some people are devastated - I heard grown men and women in tears on national radio today. That's not right.

      On emigration from Ireland, 46,500 Irish people moved abroad in the year to April 2012. That's out of a total population of just more than 4 million...

      Delete