Monday, March 26, 2012

My property tax protest

NOT my house
I am planning to pay the property tax.

In protest.

It's a protest against all the people who did not support the campaign to stop cuts to child benefit.

All the people who shrug their shoulders when they hear about carers who face the propspect of losing their domiciliary care allowance and carer's allowance.  Not €100 a year, more like €10,000.  

Who sympathise when they hear about cuts to services for kids with special needs, but do nothing.

Who blame lone parents for all society's problems and so turn a blind eye to policies that will condemn many of them to low paid paid part time employment and their children to poverty.

I'm protesting against all those people who voted Fianna Fail.  Who supported the bankers and the developers.  Whose actions led to the loss of my job and my security as well as that of my children.

Even though my property tax will probably just be used to plant yet more trees and is just displacing money that is poured down the black hole of bank debt.  

Just planted?

Even so, I am planning to pay it.

Unless you can persuade me otherwise.

And once again I'm left wondering why property always seems to matter so much more than children?


Looking for Blue Sky said...

If you're outside of Ireland I wrote this in response to the huge protests and non-payment of the new household charge which is supposed to be paid by this Saturday. These charges appear to have upset people much more than any of the cuts I mentioned above.

Midlife Singlemum said...

Good for you - I hope you write to the papers and tell them why you are paying it.

Kate said...

I had never thought about it that way. From my personal viewpoint it's not about what this tax is actually for - it's just the fact that the govt. did such a bad job at organising it that it came to be that a sizable amount of people didn't sign up to it, and then those numbers aided our decision to say no. Personally speaking it's a kind of stand against the waste of taxes to date and the show of taking back a tiny bit of control.
I very much see your point though, and wish the stand had been made earlier and for a better purpose.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Midlife Singlemum - not sure I'll have the nerve to write to the papers: but luckily they sometimes ask to reprint my posts, and once I did say yes!

@Kate - yes the organisation was woeful, and as someone n twitter pointed out, people find it easier to protest this, because doing nothing - not signing up to pay the tax - is a protest, while trying to stop or protest cuts in benefits or services is a lot more difficult.

Lisa | said...

That's an interesting way to think about it. I agree with the other commenter - I think you ought to submit this as a letter to the papers. It's thought-provoking reading.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Lisa - Thank you, I'll see what happens, it's being shared around the place anyway :)

Niall mcg said...

I imagine that most of the people who supported the campaigns you mention have yet to register as they see this as a lazy tax and like The cuts to services for kids with special needs feel this is wrong. Registering and paying is not a protest against the ff voters, itll be taken as support for current gov policy

Donna@MummyCentral said...

A great post and a very good point. I'm not in Ireland so can't claim to understand the whole politics of this. But I think I'd feel the same as you, if cuts affecting children merited little more than a whimper - but people took to the streets over this property tax.
And I agree that this should be picked up by the papers. You felt strong enough to write this - why not get it out there?

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Niall mcg - Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I agree with your logic - I was not feeling logical when I wrote this. I was listening to the Liveline programme and hearing about people who would be unable to feed their kids if they had to pay €100 charge. Which may be true, but the same arguments could be used for all the cuts that I listed, and others that I couldn't recall in the heat of the moment. And it's the whole idea that people get more angry when their property rights are threatened, than when the lives of children are affected.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Donna - There was some protest over cuts affecting children, but the anger over this issue seems to be bigger. Re the papers, I am a bit shy, and you usually have to use your real name to get a piece published in the papers, and I'm not sure I want that.

jazzygal said...

Very interesting way of looking at it....very interesting. And I see EXACTLY what you mean when you compare this protest to others.

Unfortunately in this country, and no doubt in others too, it's only when a tax or charge is imposed on EVERYONE that you can get a massive reaction from the public. As the Government stupidly made this tax one where you have to register for people will oppose it simply because they can... don't register, don't pay.

The other way of looking at this is that this is a method by which to show our opposition to ALL cuts? It's the proverbial straw and we can protest this way simply because we can?

Oh, and watch the public do a u-turn on public servants and productivity/Croke Park when they will undoubtedly support local authority workers probable refusal to collect this tax!!

See, nothing as fickle as folk ;-)

xx Jazzy

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Jazzygal - I agree with all of your points. The fact that you have to sign up for this tax voluntarily makes it easy for people to protest by simply doing nothing. And yes perhaps this is the proverbial straw...xx

Frances said...

You're so rIght about the lack of protest about our families & other awful cuts. HopIng to change that though in the next couple of weeks! Not a reference to the property charge, wink, wink, nudge, nudge ;)))))

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Frances - Thank you so much for your comment and I look forward to news about protests against the other cuts facing families.

Kathy Ryan said...

You need the people in power to know your reasons I think because the actual cash is being taken out of peoples pockets it is affecting the masses more When people hear of cuts for thousands and even millions it doesn't mean much to them unless it affects them personally

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Kathy Ryan - Thanks so much for commenting. I think maybe that people are more upset about paying more tax than they are about cuts - after all, the child benefit cuts affected every family with children, but the campaign against the cuts was not that well supported x

Anonymous said...

I will not be paying this tax for a very simple reason of not being able to afford it this month.My disposal income leaves me with a simple choice to pay my children's leaving and Junior Certificate fees or this tax.

This tax is quite unfair in that it is supposedly being collected for the purpose of giving it to local authorities yet people who are living in Local Authority Housing are exempt. In the essence of fairness it would be better if everybody made a contribution even if some had to pay only a fraction rather that exempting some as they have done. This government has targeted the same people over and over again eg the tax on fuel and hike in car tax hurt those who have to travel to work the hardest, health insurance premiums have risen so much since the last budget, the list seems endless.

Fine Gael and Labor are no better than FF. It is funny that Greece were allowed to receive significant write downs on there debt and yet they entered into a bailout before we did and when our government is questioned on why this cannot happen for us, they respond we have to honor of our commitments we signed up for. This government is almost as bad in that they lack courage or any sense.

I did think the cuts in education were terrible because this is an area we truly have to remain competitive in but again this government like the others cannot look at doing this in a fair balance. As for lone parents there are many decent people but there are some unfortunately choose this in oder to receive the benefit of local housing, medical card etc while at the same time have partners living with them, and this is a common practice.

Until this government learns to look after its people and not put the EU and markets ahead of its people, then maybe people will reconsider but at the moment taking more money from people will leave people will less to spend in there local towns which in turn will cause business to close due to low demand,this is all this government will achieve with its present policies.

Suburbia said...

Sounds really tough over there right now

Looking for Blue Sky said...

@Anonymous - thank you, I really appreciate your comment. And I agree with much of what you say, especially your conclusion - that austerity is basically sucking us into a downward spiral. I just hope something turns up to get us all out of this, and it seems likely that the Government are crossing their fingers too.

@Suburbia - it is for some, while others are completely unaffected :(