The Finance Bill: Can we afford any more household charges?

The Finance Bill: Can we afford any more household charges?

The Finance Bill: Can we afford any more household charges?New measures contained in the Finance Bill will leave householders’ pockets even lighter.

The new bill proposes:

  • An extension of the new carbon tax that will see a tank full of domestic heating oil rise by €43, domestic gas prices rise by an average of €41 a year and price rises for coal and peat
  • The … winding down of mortgage interest relief, although there is an extension until 2018 for its final abolition
  • A rise in tolls by a fifth on the M50 and the Dublin Port Tunnel
  • Abolition of tax relief on bin collection charges worth €80 a year

Not only that but bin collections by local authorities will rise by 13.5pc from July as county councils will have to pay VAT for the first time. Car parking, swimming pools, the hiring of sports facilities and commercial water provision are also subject to the addition of VAT of between 13.5% and 21%.

The new measures were announced prior to the AGM dinner of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce last night where Brian Cowen said in his speech, “Sacrifices need to be made… as citizens we have an obligation to pull together in times of uncertainty… we should be prepared to look beyond our self-interest… We are going to come through it. Recessions end.”

Have your say:

  • The New Finance Bill: Can we afford any more household charges just two months after a savage Budget cut public sector pay and reduced social welfare payments?
There are 28 comments for this article
  1. alex g grant at 8:29 pm

    It’s past time these incompetent fools were banished from Dail Eireann, each and every one of them have brought great shame to the Irish people, before they go, an apology would be gracious. Cowen is no leader, Linehan is no better, the sympathy he’s getting is undeserved, like his policies, his health is not up to it, and the rest of them, useless. I’d go as far to suggest that prison is somewhere that lot’s of them should be in. Please, for the love of God, vacate the bloody place, the others cannot be any worse, go now, before the people of this country really get mad,and it will happen.

  2. Graham at 2:12 am

    TIME FOR ChANGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The government should just take all our wages and give us pocket money!!!! If you are one of the lucky ones still to be working and trying to improve your living standards hang in their. Its time to say to our government and all parties enough is enough, lets vote the present government not only out of power but out of politics all together, and maybe the next crowd that get in will understand the politicians work for us not the other way about..

  3. Sarah at 8:31 am

    I no longer understand what I am paying income tax for.
    I pay tax on my car
    I pay tax on my credit card
    I pay tax on my ATM card
    I pay for my waste collections
    I pay M50 charges every day + VAT
    I pay PRSI and yet my free visits to the dentist have been taken away, I pay for my own health insurance and all my own medical bills and yet I can no longer claim my full tax against those bills.
    I paid 40K in stamp duty when I bought my house
    I will now have to pay a carbon tax
    I will more than likely have to pay water charges in the coming years and possibly a property tax

    So what do I get for my 42% income tax??????

    If the government want to go on a Ryanair style tax system i.e. charge you for what you use then why is income tax not going down instead of up?

    If I lived in Sweden I would pay higher taxes but at least I would be getting proper services including subsidised childcare and medial care.

    Maybe it is time to move!

  4. Colm at 6:41 am

    If you have family here and really want to come home then OK. But if you you are just thinking of moving to your ancestoral home with no living relatives here then I have to say I wouldn’t move. The economy here is far worse than people realise. The numbers simply don’t add up. Our national income income has dipped significantly and the only way the government can avoid going bankrupt is to hike up taxes and slash services. We are moving into a high tax low service 10 years. At the same time day to day living expenses are still very expensive. The government likes to talk about the cost of living coming down as a justification for increasing taxes but on the ground very few people are finding any bargains outside of the many closing down sales.

    If you really really want to come home AND have a support network here then welcome home. However the grass is NOT always greener on the other side.


  5. Geraldine Dunne at 6:30 am

    Eamonn – you are spot on! This is exactly what I would have written myself. These fools will run all the good people out of Ireland as there won’t be anything worthwhile staying for! We need these fools out and a more intelligent lot in to save us!

  6. maria a wall at 2:51 am

    For goodness sake why would you want to come to Ireland , we here would all love to get out,The weather is horrible, the roads are in a disgusting state, our hospitals are not able to cope, businesses are closing down daily, if you have any sense at all stay away and go somewhere that their government cares about its loyal electorate.

  7. Geri at 8:26 pm

    It depends where you are currently Kath, but my 1st instinct is “DONT” !!

  8. MaryBranigan at 4:33 am

    Hi All,

    We are two elderly people who are thinking of coming back to Ireland to live, what do you think? Kath

  9. micka at 11:38 pm

    thanks to this Gov ,i now have to leave this country and my family and move away to a safer place with my new baby and partner to be able to put food in her mouth . Brian Cowen .you heartless discusting stump of a man you should be ashamed of yourself for distroying so many familys and homes im so glad im getting out because you just dont know when to stop and that goes for your eating habbits aswell

  10. Pat Spillane at 9:29 pm

    Ten years ago Ireland had a balanced budgetary situation.
    We had a public service system basically paid for by a 25% standard tax rate.
    This crowd of geniuses cut the tax rate to 20% and suddenly there isn’t enough money to pay for the services ??? DOH!!!

    Property based stamp duty taxes made up for the shortfall for a while – and when that crashed the obvious move would be to return to the former tax rate.
    But NO – we got levies, pension cuts, Health cuts, Education cuts, Local service cuts etc. – but no cuts for our Fianna Fail cronies.

    Fianna Fail will be in power for 23 out of the last 25 years. They ARE to blame – no one else.

    Finally (and worst of all) wage cuts. What about commitments made based on your agreed income (now down about 20% in the public service – except for those at the top)? What happens when the EU raise interest rates ?
    Remember an interest rate rise from 2% to 3% is NOT a 1% rise in your mortgage – it is a 50% rise.

    That is when the Sh*t will really hit the fan.

    Depressingly 40% of the population will vote for Fianna fail in the 2012 elections.

  11. Seanie at 8:58 pm

    From the litany of comments, it’s quite clear that this government is now despised by the ordinary citizen. Lets not forget this when the recession ends (as it will eventually, but God knows how much damage will have been done in the interim) and when the election comes around. Vote these clowns out. The intellectual nimcumpoops have demonstrated gross mismanagement and recklessness. Lets be clear, Ireland is not a low tax economy, with the exception for corporations (which is a sound policy, but dependent strategy). We pay very high tax for everything after we’ve paid out income tax (cars & car tax, tax on insurance policies, tax on dividends and interest from savings, VAT on all goods and services, etc, etc.). It’s also clear to see that the present economic policies, which have been lauded by the financiers, economists and international experts (another fine mess they’ve got us into!) have yielded a continued increase in redunancies, increased dependance on social welfare, decreased retail spending and therefore decreased tax income, thus increasing the downward spiral into a very very long depression.

    To those who think its great to reduce the public sector pay bill, understand economics 1-0-1: ie. most of the money generated through the private sector (primary, secondary and tertiary activities) ends up, through both direct and indirect taxation in the public sector – it is then “washed” back through the private sector (i.e. public sector wages, contracts for private companies etc.), which in turn supports much of the domestic private sector. When you take that money out of the economy (especially during an international recession) you exacerbate the economic position. As a result over 30% of the entire public expenditure is now related to social welfare costs: This private v public “spin” is nonsense. Each is co-dependent on each others strength.

    With current policies and the way things are going, the next financial tsunami is coming from residential debt default, because people are at breaking point. Our debt is not decreasing, but our income is. This is a fiscal disaster that is currently gathering steam. Then the poo really hits the fan!
    We need a jobs stimulus, not a bank bailout, a policy that has failed miserably. With the right policies and strategies we could be out of this mess in five years. We need to restart our old abandoned factories (such as sugar plants – sugar up 30% this year, yet we closed our two major plants – lost 2,000 direct jobs and now we import our sugar = money going out of our economy! We export live cattle rather than slaughtering them and processing them here, then exporting the final product; we have a huge knowledge and skill set in pharmaceuticals, chemicals and IT – we need to harness this talent into start-ups to compete with the multi-nationals rather than working for them – we need to become more self-dependent and self-sustaining – give every business that can increase output for the export market the right grants, incentives and market support and generate “income”) instead our clowns sit around working out where to cut and what to tax. Right now the ordinary joe is on misery street for the next twenty years if we continue with the current policies!! Those who caused this (speculators – not real developers – bonus blinded bankers, those who worked off percentage of sales prices (i.e. estate agents, lawyers, architects, engineers etc), the PR and media class who fueled the hype and spend culture, passive ministers and weak opposition) most of whom will continue largely unaffected as they are probably relatively debt free, with lump sums waiting to capitalise on the next upturn, while the rest of us carry the can.

    Please don’t forget this crisis when it comes to the next election and for as long as you’re cerebrally functioning.

  12. Phyllis at 5:12 pm

    This government seem intent in assuring this recession will last for as long as possible for the ordinary guy while they are giving a helping hand to the bankers and protecting the public sector – whom protest too much! Phyllis

  13. Colm at 3:49 pm

    Regarding hitting the low paid, compared to most of the countries around us, we actually have amongst the lowest taxes on the lowest paid and the highest taxes on the highest paid – ref. the Irish Times budget supplement.

  14. Dee at 3:43 pm

    Have we sacrifices enough? The government have already took alot of money of people who are on low income etc…I don’t think it fair to take money more of the people. we are stress enough as it is. More and More people are seeking out helps frpm MABS because they are struggling with bills, loans etc. They want to charge water and house tax etc. Please Brain cowen give us a break.

  15. Liz at 2:56 pm

    PS the comment preceding mine is not one with which I agree!!! It couldnt be further from the truth, you have no idea that many civil servants actually earn less than 30K, you are one of those poor unfortunates sucked in by the private/public ‘war’ created by our stupid government to justify crucifying public servants, except the top earners….public services keep the country going. I hope you dont ever get sick and have to avail of the amazing services and support of the fantastic’public servants’ whom you wish to financially slaughter…to solve our financial woes…rather narrow minded approach i feel..and our country will still be bankrupt!!!

  16. Liz at 2:50 pm

    I could not agree more, with the last comment. Perhaps our government will do a u-turn like they did for their cosy cartel of advisors, costing the state 5 million, without a thought for ‘the common good’ or ‘sacrifices’ or’ moving beyond self interest’ What a joke! Only its not terribly funny and anyone struggling to pay mortgages will really throw in the towel now, or anyone on pensions trying to heat their old houses and not die of hypothermia – mind you they’d probably die waiting for an ambulance or hospital bed to treat them anyway….misery heaped upon misery for those on low incomes or social welfare…we need a new socialist party as there is no credible alternative now to the gombeen fianna failers, the sheep in the shed as one of their own called them this week…no doubt he’ll be bought off by taxpayers money least they’ll have the money to pay their cronies from these charges which will financially kill those already stretched…the money lenders will be laughing!!! Shame on you Brian Cowen!!!!

  17. Bev Wilde at 2:41 pm

    I think it’s disgusting that the government has had in the region of 10 years of various taxes and stamp duty pooring in when the Celtic Tiger was roaring and employment and spending was at an all time high. What did they do with the money? It certainly didn’t go towards health, education or roads (I avoid potholes on a daily basis). The money was squandered and now people are living wage to wage unsure of their jobs and being told to look at the ‘bigger picture’. The government is primarily full of orginary people who have slowly worked their way into the Dail, with little or no financial experience and yet suddenly they are in charge of running a country. They were told by independent financiars in April 2006 that manufacturing was on a downterm, but they ignored their advice because retail was up. Now there are thousands of empty new homes nationwide that can’t be sold because banks won’t take the risk of lending to ordinary people. In the meantime the developers sit back accruing interest on huge loans borrowed from the banks only to have then eventually written off. What a joke!

  18. derek at 1:34 pm

    it is what we have to do. for too long now we have been expecting more and better services while refusing to pay any more taxes for them. well now the time has come where we do have to pay for them and we will just have to get used to the idea of doing more with less.i have no problem with paying my fair share of taxes once i know that the civil servants who are spending them are getting the most that can possibly be got for my money, and not just using my increased taxes to feather their own nests. as far as im concerned all civil servants should face an immediate 20% pay cut (i.e. a cut in take home salary that is not being deferred into their pension) and any cuts after that, well i might begin to feel sympathy for them!!!

  19. Pamela at 12:42 pm

    How dare Brian Cowan has the affront to say that “we should be prepared to look beyond our self-interest…” when we are only in this mess because the government and their cronies in the banks and the builders didn’t look beyone their self-interest. In any other country, they would be jailed for mis-using the taxpayers money instead of still being in power. Nothing has changed – the same people who caused this are still in charge in the banks also.

    They need to have their salaris cut to what the rest of us are expected to live on and see how they like it. That a useless oaf like Brian Cowan “earns” more that the president of the USA is a joke. They’re supposed to work for us so why can’t we cut their salaries? My salary was cut by both the government and my bosses and I had no say in it nor did I gain anything from the infamous “Celtic tiger”. Let those who made the millions in the boom years now pay those millions back!

  20. Frances at 12:27 pm

    This is an absolute joke, I will dump my rubbish rather than pay for it if they take away the tax relief. I’ve had enough of these shower of idiots. Im sick to the back teeth of paying out for the incompotence of others and if anyone attempts to put a water meter on my house they will be very very sorry……your better off sitting in your arse on the dole, with a free house, free medical care rather than trying to make a decent living for you and your family as these clowns want to take and take and take every penny you earn.

    • Sean at 6:36 pm

      Well im on Illness Ben, and i get F all with help, dont get rent allowance ect, my rent is 104 a week, and thats out of 196 shi%t money, worked all my life payed my taxes ect, i cant sit on my ass cus im to stressed out worrying about paying bills, the people better of and get everything is non nationals and people who screw the system that can sit on there big arse% all day and get everything, poeple like me and you wold get nothing but sorry is all you get, i live on cereal most days have no money, that goverment Bifo fat gob and fat arse harney choclate face Bi lol.

  21. Pat Connolly at 12:19 pm

    It’s will see people who cannot afford the increase especially bin charges
    reverting rubbish dumping in lanes and side of roads.

  22. David at 12:14 pm

    Recessions end and thankfully so do democratical elected governments.
    The next election can not come fast enough to “landfill” this goobeen FF party and give some hope to a beaten and disallusioned population whose only crime was to trust these gobsh#*s.

  23. Colm at 12:12 pm

    Nobody wants to pay more but we have seen recently the effects of the low-tax culture we have developed in this country. Our secondary roads are falling apart, our water systems are leaking because we have neglected to maintain these properly in recent years. We pay amongst the lowest taxes in western Europe (believe it or not) and we get the services we deserve as a result.

    I heard that the VAT imposition is an EU decision so there’s no point in blaming the Government for that.

    We need more of our taxes to come from the likes of service charges and property tax because we were too dependent on income tax, VAT and stamp duty, all of which dry up in a recession.

  24. Orla at 12:07 pm

    No one wants to pay more. I thought however that the decision to put VAT on local services was because of European court ruling against Ireland rather than a desire by the Govt to heap more pain on us.

  25. Emma Goulding at 12:07 pm

    It is disgracefull that the goverment are ripping off the low income people. Everything is being increased except our wages which are decreasing. Alot of people got a mortage based on there income and outgoing and now that has all changed outgoing increased and income decreasing. There is no understanding what they are doing. How are people going to survive!!!

  26. Eamonn at 12:04 pm

    Would you expect anything less from the incompotent gathering of headless fools attempting to run this country. I have no problem in paying taxes and charges, but all they are being used for is to cover their screw ups over the best economic period this country has ever witnessed. This so called group of leaders express that they are doing everything for our good, yet they are totally unaccountable in every facet of running this country into the ground. We are a laughing stock for all the new accession states and I hope their leaders learn from our mistakes.

    Our government are a disgrace and treat the electorate with complete contempt in everything they and are unable to respond directly and take ownership for once and for all. This country will always be a complete shambles while there are spineless nitwits attempting to run this country.

  27. Neal at 12:03 pm

    Burn the f#*k#rs!…

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