Sunday, 6 July 2008

Tax incentives for Irish speakers

Tax receipts are in freefall, mainly thanks to the property market being on an even steeper downward trajectory. The Celtic Cubs have bitten the EU hand that’s been feeding their fat, crabby faces. It’s not looking rosy, is it?

As Gombeen Man has pointed out, property was overpriced due to low interest rates, cheap credit (including interest-only mortgages) and inflationary Government tax shelters for investors. One would have thought that tax shelters and incentives would be taboo now, given the return of economic reality. But not so.

Now Irish speakers want to be exempted from income tax. Udaras na Gaeltachta - the body charged with 'promoting' the Gaeltacht - has submitted a plan to the authorities for the Gaelic-speaking inhabitants of west coast islands to be made exempt from income tax. Assuming they pay any in the first place, of course.

The body claims that major incentives are needed to keep the populace fleeing to the mainland and beyond due to grinding poverty and lack of job opportunities. It's like Flann O'Brien's An Beal Bocht all over again: incessant whingeing and putting on the "poor mouth”.

And you might well feel sympathy for the hard-done-by peasantry out on their rocks in the Atlantic, keeping Official Ireland’s make-believe culture going despite their hardships. If you are gullible, that is.

So, what do they want by way of tax incentive? That individual residents can earn up to EUR 100,000 before paying income tax, of course.

Well, they do say that poverty is relative.

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Anonymous said...

Why do you have a picture of an English speaking character from an English speaking island with a story about Irish speaking islands?
Did you know btw that the plan the Údarás announced would apply to all islands, English and Irish speaking?
It's fairly typical of English language fascists like yourself to never let the facts get in the way of an attack on the Irish speaking minority in Ireland.
Your use of the photo to represent Irish speakers is a bigoted attempt to insult an entire community, so similar to the way fascists attack and stereotype minorities. You claim to oppose fascism but your attitude to Irish speakers is the same as their attitude to other minorities.

The Gombeen Man said...

Anonymous, I know many of you Gaelgeori are a bit po-faced and have difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy; but the character above is a fictitious one from a fictitious, ridiculous Island. I used him humorously, and to underline how I think this plan would not be out of place on Craggy Island - if such a place were to exist.

On the issue of fascism, in the past I have put my health and well-being on the line by physically opposing the likes of the BNP and C18, so I think my anti-fascist credentials are pretty sound.

On the subject of minorities: I, personally, don't view people like you as a put-upon "minority" - rather as part of a middle-class, grant-grabbing interest group out for every advantage it can get. And the subject matter of my post reinforces this.

Holy mother of crucified Christ! The vast, vast majority of PAYE workers would never earn anything like 100,000 Euro. What kind of incomes have your authentic, Irish-speaking islanders got then? And if that's the kind of money they want tax exemption on, they are hardly an impoverished "minority" are they. Can you not see how ridiculous the suggestion is?

There's an episode of Father Ted where Ted is trying to teach Dougal the difference between fantasy and reality, perhaps you should have a look at it?

Anonymous said...

Wow. You definitely live up to your name Gombeen man!

The Gombeen Man said...

That's the general idea.