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A Different View

Time to tax living in case we take it for granted!

Dave O'Connell

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Attending the cheque presentation of €8,500 raised from 'Lunch by the Lake' at the Wineport Lodge, Athlone in aid of National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) were (from left) Anna O Coinne, NBCRI, Prof. Michael Kerin, NBCRI, Athlone friends of NBCRI Tracey Staunton, Norma Wilson, Marion Donoghue and Dympna Cunniffe, event sponsor Colm Quinn of Colm Quinn Motors Athlone and Galway and Helen Ryan NBCRI.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Our Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was dead right, you know, when he said that, if the Government kept giving us our water free gratis and for nothing, we’d just flood the house by leaving the tap running all day.

So it’s not so much that the Government is screwing the taxpayer by charging them on the double (because they seem to forget we already paid the Council for it through our tax payments) for what comes out of their tap….in reality they’re actually saving us from drowning in our own homes.

And if water was free flowing through the tap, he knows we’d be out there power washing the car, the front of the house, the cobble-locked driveway, the neighbours, the postman, passers-by, the dog, the lamp post….who knows where it would all end?

He was right too about electricity – imagine if it was free….sure we’d never turn out the lights even on the hottest, sunniest day of summer.

We’d have the immersion on just to heat up the water that we weren’t paying for either; we’d never turn off the telly or the three-bar electric heater even if we had to march around the house in our underwear because of the Saharan heat.

Because we haven’t an ounce of responsibility between us; the only thing we understand is pain, and nothing is more painful than paying for things we used to get for free.

So you see Michael Noonan is right when he says we’re not be trusted with things like that; if we don’t pay a premium for services, we have no value on them and we’ll just waste them until they’re gone.

Unlike the Government which wastes nothing – as in, the chance to go to the United States or Singapore for St Patrick’s Day, the chance to sit in the best seats in Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day, the chance to open a packet of crisps once the television cameras are there to witness them doing it.

But the rest of us don’t know when we have it good.

Look at the way we wilfully abuse the free air that they’ve put at our disposal, brazenly breathing it in and out like there was no tomorrow, instead of pausing for breath, skipping every fourth or fifth intake, and acknowledging the Government’s generosity in not charging us for it.

Why should we be allowed to sit out in the sun for free? Or gaze out over Galway Bay while we walk along the Prom?

So, while we’re at it, here are some more suggestions for making us pay for things we use and shouldn’t have for free.

For example, those who dry their clothes on an outside line should pay a wind tax.

Those who pride themselves on their lush lawns and colour-filled flower beds should pay a rain tax.

For more,  read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

How will we acclimatise as we ease out of Covid?

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Back in the world before Covid, a mention of Corona either brought to mind a beer or a rock band – but, as we ease our way out of dire straits (another rock band, as luck would have it), we might require a different kind of acclimatisation.

Because what will the evening be like when no more deaths are flashed up as a statistic on the Six-One News?

Who will the world turn to if we have no more Fergal or George or Zara giving out the daily update in a funereal tone?

What will happen to all the people who used to go to the Department of Health press conference at tea-time in the same way the rest of us once headed for the pub?

Like Pavlov’s Dog, we’ve come to expect an evening illness update, taking consolation in it being two less than yesterday or taking fright if it’s two more.

Nobody told us who these poor people were, unless the local paper carried a tribute a week later – for the number crunchers and bean counters and prophets of doom, they were today’s statistics, to be flashed up for a few seconds every night.

And we took these figures as we got them, never questioning if a person died from Covid or with Covid; if they were described as having ‘underlying conditions’, we seemed to accept that as a very broad church.

We listened intently as Fergal or George or Zara told us what the mean age was, breathing a small sigh of relief if it remained a good distance into the future from our own age now.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Home ownership should be a prerogative – not a pipedream

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Half of our 18 to 34-year-olds fear they won’t be able to buy a home in next ten years, according to a new survey. That’s not the shock – it’s the fact that half of them think they actually will.

Because the truth is that owning your own home hasn’t been as much of a pipedream since the days of feudal landlords; indeed many of them will find it a job and a half to even come up with the rent.

And that’s a sign of just how critical our housing crisis has become in the space of a single generation.

We thought that things were bad in the eighties when unemployment levels were way ahead of our pre-Covid figures; when the boat and the plane were the best 0or maybe only – chance for many to secure a job far from home.

But for those who were working, owning a home wasn’t a farfetched concept at all, because there were plenty of starter homes being built and the cost of them still bore some relation to your income.

There was a time before that, when the bank had a simple equation to decide the size of the mortgage they’d give you. It was two and a half times the combined salary for those buying the house – in other words, yours alone if you were a sole purchaser, or double that if it was yourself and your partner.

On top of that, there was no point turning up in the first place unless you had a ten per cent deposit – so it was a straight-forward calculation to find out what you could afford. And house prices, for the most part, kept within that equation.

Of course there were always homes you coveted and couldn’t afford, but you could still buy a roof over your head for a price that only took 20 years to pay back.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Giving it all away can bring you the greatest wealth of all

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It must be the nicest thing that anyone could say about a friend on their passing, and the novelist Jilly Cooper wrote it about the former Sunday Times editor Harold Evans on his death last year.

“Harry died on Thursday at 5am (UK time), his heart perhaps only failing because he gave so much of it away.”

Because when all is said and done, your list of achievements – academic, sporting or stellar career – should pale into insignificance beside the way you treated your family, friends and colleagues.

We too often judge a person’s success or failure by the jobs they’ve held, the money they’ve made, the titles they hold – when the truth is none of that should determine your achievements as a person.

Even billionaires can grow to realise that eventually; just look at Bill and Melinda Gates – although recent events might make this a different picture in the future.

The former Apple golden couple have given close to $50 billion to charitable causes, including the eponymously named Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, since 1994.

In 2019 alone, the couple donated $589 million to charity, making them the seventh most philanthropic people that year. Whether they now give separately or collectively might be the question – but it seems most unlikely that they won’t give at all.

They’re alone in this world of billionaire philanthropists either; Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and one of the richest people in the world, has pledged $100m in prize money for technology that would best capture planet-heating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

And Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder who tops the global rich list, has vowed to give out $10bn to worthy climate initiatives.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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