Country Living with Francis Farragher
Sometimes, as I grow older, I get a strange feeling that some of the stuff happened around has all occurred before. No, I’m not putting forward any new versions of the theory of reincarnation, but whenever I hear of new taxes being introduced for ‘the good of the people’, I say to myself: “Well yes, I was here before.”
A new (massively increased) Carbon Tax rate is the new buzz phrase that well groomed and suited ministers are now throwing around the place and it’s the kind of chat that takes me back to the early days of 2015, when water charges were to be introduced for ‘the good of us all’.
Around that time, one of the local wise men of the village, proclaimed after a few pints of plain that the next thing that ‘they’ll to bring in’ is a ‘tax on the chimney’ and lo-and-behold, it looks as if it’s coming to pass.
Despite its unpopularity, there was a reasonable cohort of the population who would have paid a water charge if number one, it was a clearly defined amount; and number two, it was a tax that would have a ceiling on it, as the years moved on.
It all happened on Phil Hogan’s watch, and I’m sure while the man has many competencies and has gone on to ‘greater things’ in Europe, the water charges fiasco was far from his greatest hour.
The Fine Gaelers are not without their good points but at times they can be overcome with bouts of self-righteousness that ordinary people find hard to stomach.
Remember the talk of the time that people would have to restrict the number of showers they would have; we were given no idea initially how much we would have to pay for water; and we were given no succour whatsoever as to any cap that might be put on the charges.
And all this, after a time when our banks and financial institutions had bankrupted our country with ordinary working-class people and farmers having to be called upon to feel the pain of the financial crash as a desperate rescue mission was put in place to save Mother Ireland.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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