Workers Party councillor Ted Tynan has said that the underhanded way that pensioners had been targeted in a joint Social Welfare / Revenue Commissioners sting showed the government’s mean streak and he said he did not believe that this was a solo run by the two state agencies.
“Once again”, said Cllr. Tynan, “the government has hit the weak targets by going for the meagre work pensions that many elderly have earned and paid for over decades of service to this country. We are not talking about people in receipt of huge golden handshakes here. I have already been contacted by dozens of elderly people who are being hit because of a small pension they are in receipt of after a lifetime in work”.
“Only last month pensioners were targeted in the budget when the Winter Fuel Allowance was slashed by six weeks. The increase in Carbon Tax will also push the heating bills for elderly people beyond their slender means. Furthermore VAT increases of 2%, as well as general food inflation will place the health of many elderly people in serious jeopardy.”
“This week over 150,000 pensioners have found out that they will be liable for tax. This is the New Year present they have been given by a government which recently made special exceptions to allow their own advisors and party hacks to be paid in excess of the guidelines on public sector pay. Instead of cutting back on advisors and ending the payment of hush-money to NAMA speculators, the government have picked on the pensioners once more. They have learned nothing for the previous government’s attack on pensioner’s medical cards and will find out that they have taken on a formidable force”, said Cllr. Tynan.
“If the government needs more tax revenue then they should introduce a third income tax rate of 50% for income over €100,000 per year; introduce a proper wealth tax; and launch a crackdown on the tax fugitives who make millions here but live abroad part time purely for tax purposes. However, as a lot of the elderly people with whom I have been in contact tell me with the benefit of a lifetime of experience is that the government will not follow up on those three proposals is that it would hit “too close to home”.”
Issued 6th January 2012