Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Cowen buy-to-let apartment, ministerial helicopters, and the banana republic

How do you know when you are living in a banana republic? There are a few clues, as it happens.

For one, you’ll have Government ministers criss-crossing the skies in private aircraft on domestic engagements, in what is essentially a very small country. Since last October’s first austerity budget, they will have spent €1.6 of the plebs’ tax money in this way, on a total of 83 journeys – 25 of which were within Ireland.

Another giveaway is that the tax base will be narrow, and the very rich won’t pay any at all – or very little – thanks to Government policies. Cue the likes of Bono, Dermot Desmond, Denis (Ireland is a communist country) O’Brien, J.P. Mc Manus, and lots more with lower profiles.

The third giveaway - but I'm sure you can think of many more – is the fact that the prime minister of the country (and ex finance minister), will have invested in a buy-to-let investment scheme in England, will be accused of illegally letting it, and will be threatened with legal action by the development’s management agency for non-payment of ground rent and management fees.

It seems that Brian Cowen was part of an Irish group that invested in student apartments in Leeds in 2005, and is now involved in the above fiasco according to today’s Irish Independent. One can only imagine that he was acting out of revenge for the famine and the English absentee landlords of the 19th century, and striking a blow for dear old Erin in his own little way. Either that, or he is just one of the many greedy Paddies who got caught up in the unseemly and unsustainable property stampede. But surely not???

Where else would you get it? And is there any wonder there was such a spectacular property bubble here, given some of our leading politicians were enthusiastically riding the buy-to-let bandwagon?

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Ella said...

Boomtown Rats had it right, Banana Republic septic isle. No incentive for the powers that be to change tax loopholes or get rid of tax incentives for investors, not when they partake in them, themselves. Not alone does BIFFO have as you rightly pointed out GM property in the UK, he also owns two other rental properties in Dublin 7 and Dublin 8. Additionally he has his family home in Offaly.

Another ministerial property magnate is Frank Fahy. The Galway West TD owns outright or is a partner in many residential, commercial and retail properties in 18 different locations that include Galway and Limerick, Leixlip and Athlone, Dublin and Dubai, Boston, France, Portugal and Brussels.

Alan Shatter, the Dublin TD has 14 different residential and commercial property investments, mainly in Dublin, London and Florida as well as small portfolio of shares.

The Dublin North TD, Dr James Reilly is another major property investor with 10 different interests in land, holiday homes, medical facilities, residential lettings, some farm and woodland. He also owns an entire commercial building in Lusk with about a dozen different tenants including residential tenants.

Cork TD Deirdre Clune has three residential properties and sites in Dublin and Cork.

I don't see the goverment getting rid of tax shelters for themselves and their rich mates anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

hi gombben man what a great little country you have so many masters of the universe

Lew said...

Why on earth are they flying around in provate planes?

I drive to Cornwall to visit my children a 320 mile trip each way
and I usually do the journey there and back in one day with just me driving.

IF I remember right thats about the same distance from the north of Ireland to Kerry?

If I can do it why can't they?
especially as they'd obviously be stopping overnight in some posh hotel at taxpayers expence, they wont have to drive I presume they have chauffeurs?

Surely it would actually be around the same amount of time if not less than driving to an airport, sorting out all the flight plans, etc waiting to get on board and off the other end? surely the maximum amount of time they'd save is maybe an hour?

Wouldn't be so bad if it was done out of their money but I bet the taxpayer pays

The Gombeen Man said...

Ella: Thanks for all that info/ammo!

Anon: They certainly seem to think so, anyway.

Lew: And they'll continue to lecture us about being green and tax us silly for in the shape of a carbon tax. Hypocrites