The speculation in the Irish Times about yet another hefty tax charge on home owners, this time for water, got me wondering. Is there a breaking point, a moment of realisation, where a substantial section of the income tax paying population declare enough is enough? I don’t mean the usual Fianna Fail “This is a disgrace and we will magically and painlessly make this all go away when returned to power”. I mean a section of the country who recognise that the constant demands for state spending on everything from welfare to public sector pay and pensions is now making the government hit them for an extra €1000 every year in hard cash, through water and property taxes? Will they wake up?
You would think that they would, but I doubt it, for a number of reasons. The first is that the average Irish voter has shown an extraordinary propensity to wanting to be lied to. When Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein promise to abolish those taxes AND maintain spending, most Irish voters, through a mixture of moronic stupidity and colluding self-delusion, will accept that as a reasonable proposition. Secondly, a new party, offering a clean and limited “We will abolish THIS tax by cutting THIS spending” would just not get traction. I can picture the response on the doors already: “Oh yes, the tea party, yes, I like your low tax policies. Now, why are they closing the local hospital, that should be given more money. No, I agree, taxes should be cut, but more money should be given to the local area. That school there needs a new floor in its hall, can you do something about that? No, I agree we should cut taxes, but my mother needs her hip done and there should be more money spent on…”