Brian Lenihan has suggested that we need to broaden the tax base. He’s right, and that means we should finally look at the issue of local government taxation……no wait, don’t go, it’s a short post, I promise!
We should have a local tax, probably based on income, set by an directly elected local Mayor. It would mean that he/she would be held to account for spending it wisely, and we could fire the bastard directly if he/she spent it on a town twinning trip to Malibu. It would also mean that the Council Tax would be the big issue at local elections, and candidates would be forced to have opinions on the rate and how it should be spent. I know, for some councillors whose biggest achievements seems to be to smell of stale wee that’ll be hard, but that’s politics.
Who sets the local business rates now that are crucifying business? Councillors? The County Manager? As with everything in Ireland, there is no one who actually puts the hand up and says yes, I made that decision.
Until that happens, say No to local taxes.