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 If the IMF cometh

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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:44 pm

It seems to me the restructuring of the ESB was done with a view to a sell off. Why else would eirgrid have been constituted as a separate entity? My fear is that the stupid eejits running this country would sell eirgrid too. Look at the hames they made of eircom?
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:47 pm

A few points:

Yes Mary Harney is Minister for Health and Children. However, Barry Andrews is Junior Minister for Children. This is a cross departmental ministry and a very important one at that. It is provides the link between all the different areas which are necessary for our children, health, education, social affairs etc. Unlike most junior ministries it is a 'super junior' ministry in that the Junior Minister for Children in fact sits at the cabinet table albeit in a non voting capacity. It is my opinion that if you get rid of junior ministers entirely you are going to have to create new standalone ministries such as a Ministry for Children. I certainly agree with reducing the number of junior ministers but ridding them completely will likely result in other increased and unforeseen costs in terms of the creation of new full ministies.

The Churches have charitable status so don't pay tax like all charities don't. Have you thought about the cost to benefit in terms of this? Churches provide huge charitable dispensation which if you tax them they no longer will and then you, the taxpayer, is going to have to pick it up. The fact that my Church, as a charity, is tax exempt, means that our congregation, through our personal donations, fund a fulltime youth worker in our particular congregation. She and her volunteer team provide youth group, homework groups and other community facilities for over 500 children per week in our local area entirely free of cost to their parents. We also pay the fulltime salary for a youth worker in a deprived area of West Dublin. When we can't afford to do this anymore who would you like to pay the bill of providing these social services?

A definition of luxury is a difficult one but then again your highlighting of edible knickers, whilst in jest, rather misses the point. I was in Harvey Nichols the other week in Dundrum and saw a suit there which cost over 3 grand. Presently the State will receive 645 euro every time one of those suits is sold. Do you think we should create a situation whereby the State does not receive that 645 euro?
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:56 pm

coc wrote:
It seems to me the restructuring of the ESB was done with a view to a sell off. Why else would eirgrid have been constituted as a separate entity? My fear is that the stupid eejits running this country would sell eirgrid too. Look at the hames they made of eircom?
Yes. All state assets should be protected in some way I think and that goes for Eirgrid, Eircom's wires, the Air Slots, our forests, our water pipes, our train tracks, our roads. It matters not to me if three or four private operators are using our roads but private operators owning our roads and broadband infrastructure is just economic treason/suicide.

My understand of Eirgrid is that the infrastructure connecting the power plants would stay in state hands, industry wanting to connect to that grid would be either private or public but the connections would be publicly owned.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:00 pm

As regards the churches charitable status, notwithstanding your congregation's fundraising effort, which I am sure is replicated all over the country, I still believe the churches have vast wealth and they should be taxed accordingly. I'm sure most, if not all churches do charitable works, but then again, so does Denis O'Brien. Does that mean he shouldn't have to pay his fair share?

As regards to the 3 grand suit. I think the State should happily forgo the 645 euro if it is going to cost more than 645 euro to collect. In the cost of collection I would include the opportunity cost of having an army of civil servants policing this when they could be off doing something useful like building schools or railways.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:12 pm

coc wrote:
As regards the churches charitable status, notwithstanding your congregation's fundraising effort, which I am sure is replicated all over the country, I still believe the churches have vast wealth and they should be taxed accordingly. I'm sure most, if not all churches do charitable works, but then again, so does Denis O'Brien. Does that mean he shouldn't have to pay his fair share?

As regards to the 3 grand suit. I think the State should happily forgo the 645 euro if it is going to cost more than 645 euro to collect. In the cost of collection I would include the opportunity cost of having an army of civil servants policing this when they could be off doing something useful like building schools or railways.

Just like you and me, Denis O'Brien is not taxed on the contributions he makes to organisations which have charitable status as defined by the Revenue Commissioners, whether that is to Concern, St Vincent de Paul, Trinity College Dublin or your local Church. All Church employees pay tax including the clergy and the Church pays VAT on any purchase it makes. However, your idea of making them fully tax compliant, will only serve towards a diminution of the charitable dispensation provided by churches, which are in fact the primary cost to any congregation. Would you also like the Society of St Vincent de Paul, a lay organisation of the Catholic Church, to have an increased tax burden? If so who do you want to pay for the soup runs they do all over the city centre? These are not hypothetical questions but very real points. Tax can be reclaimed at the marginal rate of payment by the contributor on all donations made to charities. Without that law, and it is incredibly evident from the figures of my particular Church, we would be letting go two full time youth workers which between them provide facilities, taking kids off the street and giving them direction, for over 800 children. Who do you propose does that instead? Or do you think the State should buy land, build a new building, pay the insurance and other related costs, as well as the cost of paying the youth workers themselves. This will cost you alot more you know.

As regards differential VAT, I think your argument is off the mark. We already make such differentiations, as do most countries. Take for example the fact that we don't charge VAT on children's clothing but we do on adult clothing or in the UK where VAT is not chargeable on biscuits but is on chocolate covered biscuits.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:19 pm

The point of the IMF is that they would tell us to privatise Eirgrid. I think we should be prepared to do anything necessary to keep them out.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:33 pm

cactus flower wrote:
The point of the IMF is that they would tell us to privatise Eirgrid. I think we should be prepared to do anything necessary to keep them out.
Would they though? Is that what they're doing in Iceland? This is a form on unjustifiable economic treason or looting or repossession that sounds like a good reason for having a war.

Hold off on disbanding the Army for a while.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:35 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
The point of the IMF is that they would tell us to privatise Eirgrid. I think we should be prepared to do anything necessary to keep them out.
Would they though? Is that what they're doing in Iceland? This is a form on unjustifiable economic treason or looting or repossession that sounds like a good reason for having a war.

Hold off on disbanding the Army for a while.

Klein, Stiglitz and Iceland - in Iceland people are trying to resist the terms.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:40 pm

The IMF do have a fairly undistinguished history of support, particularly in regard to the conditions they impose. I remember being flabbergasted at some of the stuff they get up to when studying it as an undergraduate. Their success has also been rather limited in alot of the more public situations they have been involved in. They are hugely into the whole idea of a State privatising its way out of difficulty, particularly in the developing world. However, notions of certainly that the IMF would tell us to privatise the electricity grid are a bit rash. Nobody has a clue what they would ask us to do if we had to go to them because we haven't had to go to them and we don't konw what the situation would be if we were in such dire straits that we had to. It is of course likely that they would require the privatisation of the ESB but definitive statements or anything like them as regards the network seem a little premature.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:48 pm

johnfás wrote:
The IMF do have a fairly undistinguished history of support, particularly in regard to the conditions they impose. I remember being flabbergasted at some of the stuff they get up to when studying it as an undergraduate. Their success has also been rather limited in alot of the more public situations they have been involved in. They are hugely into the whole idea of a State privatising its way out of difficulty, particularly in the developing world. However, notions of certainly that the IMF would tell us to privatise the electricity grid are a bit rash. Nobody has a clue what they would ask us to do if we had to go to them because we haven't had to go to them and we don't konw what the situation would be if we were in such dire straits that we had to. It is of course likely that they would require the privatisation of the ESB but definitive statements or anything like them as regards the network seem a little premature.

Does that boil down to "it may never happen"?

It is much less likely to happen if we are aware of the probable consequences and do our best to act to prevent this happening.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:55 pm

It may happen, it may not. Obviously we need to be aware of the situation and our Government needs to develop a strategy whereby core infrastructure can be protected if the situation were to arise. However, I think the following text, in bold, is misleading because there is not the evidence to state it as a factual position, probable or not probable. Surely the words, could, might or perhaps even the preface probably would be more appropriate.

cactus flower wrote:
The point of the IMF is that they would tell us to privatise Eirgrid. I think we should be prepared to do anything necessary to keep them out.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:20 pm

johnfás wrote:
... your idea of making them fully tax compliant, will only serve towards a diminution of the charitable dispensation provided by churches, which are in fact the primary cost to any congregation. Would you also like the Society of St Vincent de Paul, a lay organisation of the Catholic Church, to have an increased tax burden? If so who do you want to pay for the soup runs they do all over the city centre?
No. Vincent de Paul, John of Gods, Concern etc are registered charities in their own right and I have no problem with them. My problem is with the church(es) themselves being tax exempt, rather than any charities they may have set up or donated to. In most towns in Ireland the churches have sold off land over the last decade or two to developers and made huge piles of cash for themselves. Did this money all go to SVdeP or did it go to buy gold mitres for all the bishops? I don't know and while I have no problem with churches being able to write off charitable donations against their tax liabilities I do have a problem with them not paying any tax at all. It isn't fair. Why should churches be exempt? Why don't the same rules apply to the scientologists?

johnfás wrote:
These are not hypothetical questions but very real points. Tax can be reclaimed at the marginal rate of payment by the contributor on all donations made to charities. Without that law, and it is incredibly evident from the figures of my particular Church, we would be letting go two full time youth workers which between them provide facilities, taking kids off the street and giving them direction, for over 800 children. Who do you propose does that instead?
If your church has the means and willingness to provide this service, good for you. I have no problem either with the existing rules on tax back claimed by charities on donations recieved. (I recently discovered to my surprise that the same applies to schools by the way). What I think should happen is that your youth work scheme register itself as a charity in its own right and you all donate to that. My problem is your church getting tax breaks for ministering to souls, whatever they are. The churches presumably have money to buy holy water, incence, communion wafers, to pay off child abuse victims, to pay for their mistresses and their children and all other manner of things which should not IMHO benefit from or be allowed to shelter under the umbrella of charitable status.

johnfás wrote:
As regards differential VAT, I think your argument is off the mark. We already make such differentiations, as do most countries. Take for example the fact that we don't charge VAT on children's clothing but we do on adult clothing or in the UK where VAT is not chargeable on biscuits but is on chocolate covered biscuits.
Yes. My proposal is to simplify these distinctions and thus reduce the cost of collection.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:30 pm

coc wrote:
Vincent de Paul, John of Gods, Concern etc are registered charities in their own right and I have no problem with them.

As are churches... since the Statute of Charitable Uses 1634. Any organisation which exists for the relief of poverty, the advancement of religion, the advancement of education or any other purpose for the benefit of the community is entitled to be a registered charity in their own right.

The tax back scheme applies to any registered charity, all schools are, or at least should be, registered charities as they are entitled to be. Same goes for art galleries, museums, libraries etc.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:32 pm

johnfás wrote:
It may happen, it may not. Obviously we need to be aware of the situation and our Government needs to develop a strategy whereby core infrastructure can be protected if the situation were to arise. However, I think the following text, in bold, is misleading because there is not the evidence to state it as a factual position, probable or not probable. Surely the words, could, might or perhaps even the preface probably would be more appropriate.

cactus flower wrote:
The point of the IMF is that they would tell us to privatise Eirgrid. I think we should be prepared to do anything necessary to keep them out.

I'm willing to put a bet on it that they would. Would my grandmother do ?
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:12 pm

johnfás wrote:
The IMF do have a fairly undistinguished history of support, particularly in regard to the conditions they impose. I remember being flabbergasted at some of the stuff they get up to when studying it as an undergraduate. Their success has also been rather limited in alot of the more public situations they have been involved in. They are hugely into the whole idea of a State privatising its way out of difficulty, particularly in the developing world. However, notions of certainly that the IMF would tell us to privatise the electricity grid are a bit rash. Nobody has a clue what they would ask us to do if we had to go to them because we haven't had to go to them and we don't konw what the situation would be if we were in such dire straits that we had to. It is of course likely that they would require the privatisation of the ESB but definitive statements or anything like them as regards the network seem a little premature.

This isn't so much for you johnfas as for anyone who hasn't read up what the IMF do -
essentially, they are an asset stripping force.

http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/waterIMF.html
http://www.wdm.org.uk/news/archive/2004/zambiareport.htm
http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/art.shtml?x=16599
http://www.union-network.org/uniflashes.nsf/58f61ccf5875fe90c12567bb005642f9/27fcdf2878c748bbc1256c8c003315bc?OpenDocument
http://www.hotcalaloo.com/main.htm
http://www.eurodad.org/aid/article.aspx?id=130&item=1646
http://www.imf.org/external/np/sta/tfhpsa/2005/09/pandn.pdf

Its an endless story of destruction.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:17 pm

If the IMF comes, economist Alan Ahearne believes the public sector wages will need to be cut by 30-50% ...... what a ruination that would be.


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0223/1224241664718.html


IF THE International Monetary Fund is called in to sort out the economic crisis here, it will seek public sector pay cuts of “between 30 and 50 per cent”, a leading economist has warned.

Dr Alan Ahearne, of NUI Galway, addressed a Labour Party conference on the economy in Dublin at the weekend and said the task facing those trying to restore the economy was “scarily unprecedented”.

“This is a real crisis and we have to be agile. If we find that agility we can get out of this but we are facing a painful and prolonged adjustment period.”

He said the banks would have to fully nationalised temporarily. Wages and prices would have to come down but he added that wages must come down in all sectors at the same time, so that everyone’s standard of living falls at the same rate. “It has to happen everywhere if it is to work.”

There would have to be tax increases. “I wish the Government would say that. Otherwise they are going to create resentment when the increases come. They must give some endgame about how high the tax take is going to go.”

He said such fiscal consolidation was going to be very difficult to achieve.

“But if we don’t do all this, if we are not agile enough we are going to need external assistance, from the IMF. One of the things they will look at is public sector pay cuts of between one third and a half. We are climbing an extremely steep cliff and if we fall from it we will be washed out to sea.”

Brian Lucey, professor of finance in Trinity College, said it was important to remember the policies that have caused the current crisis were created by a Government for which 44 per cent of the electorate voted.

“Part of me says those 44 per cent should take the burden now. The problem is what we voted for, not the Galway tent. We voted for these policies.”

He said from a banking perspective, the reality was we now paid on average twice as much as the Dutch and Germans for our macro-economic debt.

“That’s the price of our national profligacy.” He said it was “worrying” the lack of basic economic knowledge among Government Ministers he had met.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:54 pm

A 10% across-the-board cut in the public service wage would be disastrous and would destroy many families and cause a wave of defaults on mortgages amongst public sector workers. A higher percentage cutback in the higher-earning public sector salary brackets, however, would be more equitable and could probably earn more too.

A lot of kellsangel's ideas are good though. I, like many others, am not comfortable with the abolition of foreign development aid but I don't think it is going to survive the crisis, at its current levels anyway. I imagine it will be at least halved before the economy begins to pick up.

The 3rd-level education loan scheme I am obviously not happy about as a student but what must be done must be done. As long as it gives everybody the chance to go to college it is worth considering. Introducing a simple fees for the rich scheme could also work though I'm not sure how much it would save. One thing we should not do is demand upfront payment from worse-off students.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:07 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
A 10% across-the-board cut in the public service wage would be disastrous and would destroy many families and cause a wave of defaults on mortgages amongst public sector workers. A higher percentage cutback in the higher-earning public sector salary brackets, however, would be more equitable and could probably earn more too.

A lot of kellsangel's ideas are good though. I, like many others, am not comfortable with the abolition of foreign development aid but I don't think it is going to survive the crisis, at its current levels anyway. I imagine it will be at least halved before the economy begins to pick up.

The 3rd-level education loan scheme I am obviously not happy about as a student but what must be done must be done. As long as it gives everybody the chance to go to college it is worth considering. Introducing a simple fees for the rich scheme could also work though I'm not sure how much it would save. One thing we should not do is demand upfront payment from worse-off students.

DId I miss that post? Who is kellsangel?

There would be water charges if the IMF came in, for example. In Africa they insist on school fees at primary school level. I don't think they would go for free third level fees.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:18 pm

There must be nifty ways of getting some money though besides crippling people. George Lee suggested this morning that the Government could raise €100 million this year if it put a cent on the price of text messages....
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:31 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
There must be nifty ways of getting some money though besides crippling people. George Lee suggested this morning that the Government could raise €100 million this year if it put a cent on the price of text messages....

If we could bottle George Lee and sell him, we'd make a fortune. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:42 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
There must be nifty ways of getting some money though besides crippling people. George Lee suggested this morning that the Government could raise €100 million this year if it put a cent on the price of text messages....

If we could bottle George Lee and sell him, we'd make a fortune. Wink
If he's for export I'll pay the freight.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:46 pm

An emergency supertax on public servants could raise €140million if we clawed back an average of €10k each from all those earning over between €100k and €150k and 20k from those (5000) earning over €150k. Numbers of public servants from Sarah Carey on Q&A a few weeks ago.

Public service pensions need to be taxed heavily as well. Any pensioners drawing down more than €50k should be taxed heavily as part of this emergency supertax. Does anyone have any ideas of how many of them there are?

So, we're up to €240million already. Any other ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:55 pm

there are 5000 public servants earning over 150k a year ??? What's the top civil service pay - about 300k ? Could that be cut down to 150k temporarily - i.e. until the next uplift in 2011 ?

There must be tons of SUVs that could be taxed a lot more heavily too or issue a new road tax for them - they are more of a farm vehicle. Definitely it should be raised - I wonder how many of them around ? 50,000 ? If you slap another 100 euro per year on the biggest ones then that'll only get another 5 million.

Is there any way that golf balls could be taxed ?

Quote :
In March we bought 1,413 new cars with an engine capacity of over 2,400cc - compared with 941 such vehicles in March 2005 and just 731 in March 2004.

That means monster motors have now overtaken sales of one-litre cars which used to be the staple on our roads. Just 1,213 were sold last month, down 20pc in the past two years.

And over the last decade annual sales of cars with the biggest engines - namely SUVs and some other high-performance models - increased over five-fold to 8,534, whereas car sales in general "merely" doubled.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/suvs-driving-force-behind-boom-in-new-car-sales-105208.html
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:59 pm

coc wrote:
An emergency supertax on public servants could raise €140million if we clawed back an average of €10k each from all those earning over between €100k and €150k and 20k from those (5000) earning over €150k. Numbers of public servants from Sarah Carey on Q&A a few weeks ago.

Public service pensions need to be taxed heavily as well. Any pensioners drawing down more than €50k should be taxed heavily as part of this emergency supertax. Does anyone have any ideas of how many of them there are?

So, we're up to €240million already. Any other ideas?

Why only on public servants? Why not just right across the board as income tax? Why is the Government allergic to raising income tax. They would cut cancer tests and education and anything rather than a progressive income tax.

Even Ben Dunne was saying they should lash on the income tax. At least then it is transparent and fair.
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PostSubject: Re: If the IMF cometh   Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:45 pm

johnfás wrote:
It may happen, it may not. Obviously we need to be aware of the situation and our Government needs to develop a strategy whereby core infrastructure can be protected if the situation were to arise. However, I think the following text, in bold, is misleading because there is not the evidence to state it as a factual position, probable or not probable. Surely the words, could, might or perhaps even the preface probably would be more appropriate.

cactus flower wrote:
The point of the IMF is that they would tell us to privatise Eirgrid. I think we should be prepared to do anything necessary to keep them out.

Privatisation of everything possible will be a precondition.

The IMF and Ghana: http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&ei=fOiiSeuRCtzFjAfy-InNCw&resnum=1&q=The+IMF+in+Africa&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=fuiiSYWIFozIjAelpJ3gCw&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=4&ct=title#
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