Dear Editor, After all the leaks and hype which is now a feature of every budget, the 2013 budget has finally arrived. Both parties in government have taken every opportunity to point out their part in making it a fair and equitable budget but I would like to point out two things which are anything but fair and equitable and in a bizarre way they are connected.
Number one; there are no exceptions to the property tax and no assistance for anyone who cannot afford to pay it. If one’s income is below €24,000 per year, and if it is you certainly cannot afford to pay, then after your death your house will be sold to pay the tax plus a hefty interest because you were not paying it on an annual basis while you were alive. So consider the case of sons or daughters or other relative who have put their lives on hold to care for a sick parent or relative in the home. Under normal circumstances when the parent or relative eventually passes away the house goes to the carer as some kind of compensation for giving up their life to look after an ailing parent or relative and to ensure they would have a roof over their head. This can no longer happen because the house will be sold by the State to pay the owed property tax with interest. So in the future we will witness people evicted from their homes by the State in order to redeem a property tax. The last time this sort of thing happened in this country was during the 1845 famine. Then the absentee landlords were in England now they are in Germany.
Number two; the savage extra charge for prescriptions for medical card holders hits those who are most ill because it is the most ill that need the most prescriptions. Dr Reilly promised to get rid of this charge altogether if he became Minister of Health, so much for Fine Gale election promises.
Of course the people who cannot afford to pay the extra charge for prescriptions will stop taking the medication which is keeping them alive so they will die but the State will benefit because when the person dies the State can sell their house to get an early redemption of property tax.
“This country is nothing but a scattering of millet
A place where hearts know only sadness.”