Two newspaper articles this weekend drove me mad this weekend.
Firstly, from Louise McBride in the Sunday Independent, Lenihan’s new property tax is hit by snarl-up, has this classic line as to why we can’t (thankfully) have a property tax for 2-5 years.
A property tax based on the value of homes would initially involve compiling a database of each home in the country — and then valuing each property.
As a database of homes across the country would also need to be put in place, this could bring the wait up to at least two years.
“There’s no database of individual properties in the Republic,” said Lavelle. “It would take a few months to put a database like that together. One-off housing causes problems.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds have this information already – the Property Registration Authority?
The second frustrating item was in a story by Ian Kehoe in the Sunday Business Post under the heading “Government subsidy to stop firms laying off staff”.
This story details plans within the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to subsidise “at risk” jobs. According to the story:
With unemployment soaring, the government will move to try to protect jobs that are under threat, by diverting funding that would otherwise go on dole payments to a special subsidy. The scheme would effectively subsidise some of the wages of employees in threatened jobs, cutting the cost to the employer in return for the employee remaining in work.
How many times have we heard from our Governent that “Ireland Inc” had become uncompetitive and that one of the side benefits of the current economic climate would be that our costs would fall, wages would be cut and we would regain our competitiveness.
Businesses are cutting jobs now because their sales and income is falling. Their customers aren’t buying anything, so they have excess capacity, so they don’t need so many employees and are cutting back. If businesses still had customers in sufficient numbers and were still making money, they wouldn’t be cutting staff.
So can someone please tell me then how can we regain our competitiveness by subsidising the jobs that a business owner deems unnecessary?
This is such a ridiculous idea – how can we justify paying businesses to keep on workers when they very likely would have nothing to do?
Competitiveness my arse! Clowns!