” When the people find that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury, that will be the end of the republic.” Benjamin Franklin.
If you wanted to identify a statement that summed up the problem at the heart of Irish society, there it is, right there. I once had a row with someone (Yes, I do have a lot of rows with people, don’t I?) when I suggested that social welfare payments are essentially society being charitable. I was told that it was their right to get the money. Their right? If they had paid a similar amount in PRSI, then fair enough, but other than that their right to that money involves me being deprived of my right to keep my money, which I created through work. Yet in Ireland, the right of working people to keep their money is regarded as a lesser right than the right of those to get that money. Why’s that? And where’s the party that challenges that?
This isn’t right wing “tax is theft” nonsense, this is about simple fairness. Every euro given by the government to someone involves the government taking it off someone else. As a society, we have all consented to that. But let us be honest about it, not pretend that money from the state is some conjured-from-the-air “right”.