'Where there is an income tax,the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income...'(Plato)
'Income tax has made more liars out of the irish people than golf ' ( Anon)
'It is a right,nay a duty ,that opressive and unjust taxation be resisted by whatever means possible.' Abraham Lincoln.
Tribunals ,trials, and tribulation.
The Planning Corruption Tribunals were a wonderful smokescreen for Bertie.It was the best Circus ever to come to town.The crowds loved it.
Mary Hearney his comely courtesan,became a dominatrix,and relentlessly pursuer tax dodgers big and small,under the happy, watchful eye of finance minister Charlie McCreevy (soon to be despatched Brussels- the reluctant retirement home for out of favour, former Fianna Fail fat cats) who saw his exchequer returns bulging with settlement monies from almost every self employed businessman/shopkeeper/farmer in the Island of Saints and Scholars(Ireland.com)
While Mary was doing what she does best-whipping the miscreants-and busy unearthing further skullduggery and tax evasion among the big banking institutions etc, Bertie was keeping a close eye on the wonderful cash flow of taxes and penalties, arising from her crusade-and the Tribunals at Dublin Castle.
He weaseled well out of some embarrassing cross questioning which he had to endure there, himself during a brief appearance...
He had,in his early career, signed too many blank cheques for his mentor C.J.H.(in his efforts to remain squeaky clean-and avoid any involvement in whatever roguery Charlie was up to)
Now however,Bertie donned a new suit of clothes.He was playing ‘Supercop’and actually claiming credit for setting up the most costly,longest running anti-corruption show ever to be staged in our capital city.This,when the barbarians,whistleblowers,and irate citizens were already beating down the doors of Leinster House demanding justice.
The mock trial went on so long that the stories of corruption eventually ceased to shock honest taxpayers.If Liam Lawlor,Ray Burke, and George Redmond had said they wanted 100 other offenses of murder,armed robbery and serial rapes to be taken into account when sentenced-the sleepy pensioners watching the show,would have hardly shifted, in their seats.In a way this suited the Soldiers and their buddies in the "dock". Righteous Mary,Berties sidekick in government,was an upright farmers daughter and self appointed chastiser of the errant Soldiers.She was the "peoples watchdog". She relished her ‘bad cop’role.Endlessly she lectured the numerous villains as they were unearthed from the huge network of deceit which the banks had structured to hide their cash.
It was a wonderful double act.
Nobody noticed that the political party which had been responsible,was still running the country!!
There was no riots on the streets.no "people protest"gathered at Government Buildings,like in the Phillipines,when Marcos was overthrown by "people power"
If the Irish Farmers Association members had had to pay income tax for the last three decades,and Berties pals had stolen their money while in government,there would have been a cavalcade of tractors in Merrion Square demanding his head on a platter.!
Not so with the poor sheepish citizens of Dublin or Limerick,or Cork.The Bailey Brothers wealth for example, was reckoned in hundreds of millions of Euros.They were rich beyond the dreams of avarice.They settled with Revenue for a paltry 25 million,and went their merry way.They are estimated to be worth in excess of 300 million euros. The state to this day gets nothing from the enormous profits people such as the Bailey Brothers accrue overnight when the Fianna Fail controlled councils re-zone parts of their vast "landbank", around our capital city.This perhaps is the real crime. It is more than a crime.It is an abomination,when our health service is in tatters,and local councillors are left to scavange in the garbage bin taxes -ie- the pockets of the common citizens, to fund thier wasteful administrations.
A true story;
An unemployed neighbour of mine waits endlessly for a public appointment to see a specialist...eventually as the months pass, she is still waiting. She despairs,and and puts together the 150 euros money ,to pay for a private consultation...On inspection, she is immediately rushed into hospital with an advanced cancerous tumour....too late.Dead within the year. How many more stories like this are out there.How many more dead victims,might have been saved,or had their lives prolonged?
Fianna Fail...Mr "I prefer cash" Ahern, the grim reapers best friend.
Heres my best wishes to you Bertie, and all your crew, and all they stand for: www.clinteastwood.com
Mary Harney took all the blame not only for opening the old tax evaders cans of worms,but also for dispatching her deputized agents in the dreaded RevenueCommissioners, across the green landof Ireland,like a plague of locusts,
‘seeking whom they might devour’.
She filled the coffers of ‘The Soldiers’, brimful of booty.The ‘Soldiers’ Treasury was overflowing.Enough dosh was amassed to generously benchmark every Civil Servant in the State with a generous pay rise; pay all the Tribunal bills; shoulder the abused Magdalene womens law suits, pay for the Paedophile Priests, and then still leave a large slush fund for re-election expenses.!
The doubling in property prices sent stamp duty revenue through the roof. Bertie never had it so good in his life. Money was flowing in to the government coffers like a vast cataract,which threatened to drown those underneath its waters.
Our old house on the Navan Road is overlooked by the dreaded Revenue’s new office block at Ashtown,County Dublin.
They moved in here in early 2004,and by the spring of the year ,they had,opened the fraudulent non-residents accounts "can-of-worms"and declared an ultimatum to the latest batch of tax dodgers to come out of the woods,with their hands up,or Mary would come in and get them!
Towards the final days of the surrender deadline, dozens of cars,and jeeps ,vans, tractors, mercedes,old bangers , jalopies of all kinds,converged on the Ashtown area from all parts of the country.!
On locating their destination (it was their first visit )They dutifully lined up to deposit their confessional " C.V.’s" in a large yellow rubbish skip ,which Revenue had deposited outside their Ashtown Gate edifice, as a kind of giant postbox to facilitate last minute penitents countrwide.!
Oh! to be a cockroach crawling through that lot.! Let he who is withouth sin cast the first stone....the deep dark secrets that lie on the hard disks of Revenue in Ashtown Gate.(Any hackers seeking gainful employment?..)
When it was filled to overflowing a second one was hurriedly ordered and put in place.
It was filled as rapidly.!
My wife and I were accosted by lost cars every day,during this period, as we strolled daily in the nearby Phoenix Park.Vehicles fron the four corners of Ireland were criss -crossing the Phoenix Park,like a busy colony of ants scurrying about searching for the nest (of tax inspectors) to deposit their confessional..
These busy bugs were searching for a place to shrive their souls (and deposit their surplus wealth.)
The question they asked was always the same;- "can you tell me how to get to Ashtown Gate,-the Revenue headquarters please?".We were pleased to be of help to both Bertie and his prodigal sinners.
As the deadline approaches,huge crowds gathered at Revenue,s group confessional hearings at their Ashtown Gate H.Q.,(located close to the Popes Cross, in the Phoenix Park.) to confess
Some of Bertie’s electorate were mightily annoyed of course, at this turn of events;-
‘ The one autonomous and dreaded department of the civil service that Bertie could not control...was- out of control! .They have been spreading across the Island of Saints and Scholars like a virus..a plague..The Black Death!.
Young, eager beaver,ex college kids on a mission…All those bank accounts ..onshore and offshore ..phantom non -residents….an army of them,... Yes-be frightened.! All of us are these kids prey.!
Nobody is safe any more. This army of ‘predators clutching their well worn brief cases, have promotion on their mind. Private health care perks,and index linked retirement pensions are the perks of their service to the state.The more cash that comes in –the better they are rewarded. Benchmarking mark 2, is on the way...
They are an elite force.They march out daily from Mount street Dublin; Sandymount;Ashtown Gate,Castleknock;and many other such mission centres countrywide.Their well worn brief cases and gaunt appearance the only clues to their identity.They are the "Gestapo" of the Exchequer.Their sworn fealty is to their comrades in the civil Service-though the taxes they raise are frequently squandered by their political masters,it is not for them to question such matters.They exact taxes for "The Soldiers" and inflict retribution most horrible on all those dishonest spongers, who thought the 50% tax band only applied to P.A.Y.E. workers,and always would.
Compliance was the new buzz word.The various Farmers associations scuttled to Government buildings seeking new ameliorations and improved terms,...some kind of amnesty, now that they were at last being brought under the wing of the dreaded revenue who had tormented the P.A.Y.E.sector for decades….
Many lobby groups pleaded for mercy.The Irish Farmers Association lobbied for mercy , stating that the the strain and stress of having to account for a lifetime’s pecadillos among their members,overnight , was putting the lives of rural folk at risk,as the worry of it all was ruining some of their health.
In a press statement they declared( in words to similar effect) that;
"the quality of mercy is not strain’d
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
Such pleadings however found barren soil in the hardened hearts of the gaunt and fleshless vultures(Inspectors) who dwell in the eyries of Ashtown Gate-from whence even the rooks have fled,and refuse to nestle their young….a bad omen for every farmer,publican and self employed businessman.
It was common knowledge that big farming syndicates were investing huge sums of money in property developments as far away as the new accession countries of Poland and the Czech Republic.The dreadful Revenue had set up night classes in Spanish for their employees-to facilitate intercourse with their counterparts in the Costa Del Sol where,half the population of Ireland had bought holiday homes...some of whom it was whispered had used what the spanish call "negro dinero"(black money).Theres no shortage of that in Torremolinos,or Marabella.Or come to think of it, in Costa del Kerry.!
Even the local T.D.and’Fianna Fail Fixer’ around the country carries little weight with these tax inspectors,who are no longer subject to Fianna Fail's political manipulation ,now that Mistress Harney has taken control.
Like Dante’s Inferno,well might it be said of the reluctant visitors who had business to transact in the brand new Revenue Headquarters building called ‘ Ashtown Gate’;-(Hell,s gate)
‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’
Bertie,like the great Caesar Augustus of antiquity,was calling his whole empire,to a form of census,..and creating a government taxation bonanza, the likes of which the world has never seen,-or will see again! There was just no end to this black money.
.Farmers,bankers ,businessmen,builders,publicans,beggers,criminals, drug dealers.. .All must contribute to the new order..even the "rubbish" has to pay its share now ! (Everything was taxed).
It was as if the world as we know it had come to an end,and the great Lord and Master of the universe,had arrived for the Final Judgement. "Give unto Bertie the things that are Bertie,s -and that means Mammon,filthy lucre, pay up, turn out your pockets,and account for your lifetime of criminality.!
All will hopefully vote for the Soldiers of Destiny again( even the wheelie bins) for in truth, they have been shriven of their sins,and a great load has been lifted from their conscience- and their wallet .Like good penitents they will take their punishment with a happy heart. Why not? It was long overdue.
Matt 6:25 "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"
As for blaming Bertie..the Devil you know, is better than one you don't! (The Socialist Party.. in power...Joe Higgins.. horrors! Heaven forbid..Marxist Devil.!) "Drink up that pricey pint Bertie..and have another.Let the good times roll I say,There's so much money washing around this town boys..we will probably drown in it!.Stay where you are Bertie,-in Leinster House .your doin’ a fine job...begobs you may be a bit of a boyo, but so are the rest of us...set a thief to catch a thief.. 'shure dodgin’ the taxman is a national pastime in the land of Erin...and let the man without sin cast the first stone..that is, if ye can find one…!"
"No man can serve two masters: Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." ~Jesus, Matt 6:24, Luke 16:13
"They worship the Lord, but serve other gods." ~2 Kings 17:33
Maybe it’s time to take those advertising restrictions off the other evangelical factions,competing for our souls, Bertie,...The present monopolists (in Ireland) don’t seem to have done a good job!
The Irish Bishops announced extended confessional hours in all churches across the land ,to shrive the souls of the many thousands of tax dodgers,caught in the Harney dragnet. Rosary beads were distributed .In Greece they are called 'worry beads'. And much worry stalks the land.It will all end in tears
2007: Fianna Fail and some other things, never change:
48 top earners in state pay under 5 per cent tax
16 September 2007 By Emma Kennedy. Sunday Business Post
A new Revenue Commissioners report shows 48 of the highest earners in the country paid less than 5 per cent tax on their income in 2003, up from 43 the previous year, while three of them paid no tax at all.
The number of people with an effective tax rate of less than 20 per cent rose to 104, from 95 in 2002, according to figures seen by The Sunday Business Post.
The Revenue Commissioners’ report on the effective tax rates of the top 400 earners for the 2003 tax year shows the use of property tax reliefs continued to reduce sharply the tax bills of many highest earners.
While the number of millionaires who paid no tax fell from six in 2002 to three in 2003, there was in general no significant change in the numbers paying very low rates of tax.
This was despite a series of restrictions on property tax reliefs introduced from 1998 on, which had been expected to limit the tax avoidance opportunities open to high earners.
The Revenue Commissioners’ figures show that 150 of the 400 highest earners paid an effective tax rate of less than 30 per cent, unchanged since the 2002 tax year.
The 2003 report indicated that the majority of the 150 individuals with an effective rate of less than 30 per cent used property-based capital allowance incentives.
The Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, has said that restrictions relating to tax incentives introduced in Budget 2006 will mean that high earners will pay tax at a minimum effective rate of about 20 per cent from 2007.
Many of the property-related tax incentives are also being phased out, though the government is to consider the introduction of some new ones
Court of Justice
Commission of the European Communities v Portuguese Republic
26 June 2001
(Failure of a Member State to fulfil its obligations · Air travel within the Community ·
Different rates of airport tax for national and intra-Community flights · Freedom to provide
services · Regulation (EEC) No 2408/92)
By application lodged at the Court Registry on 26 February 1999, the Commission of the
European Communities brought an action under Article 169 of the EC Treaty (now Article
226 EC) for a declaration that, by maintaining in force Article 10 of Decreto Regulamentar
(Regulatory Decree) No 38/91 of 29 July 1991, which provides that flights from Portugal to
other Member States are subject to a higher passenger service tax than that applicable to
domestic flights, and by maintaining in force the provisions of Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law)
No 102/91 of 8 March 1991, as implemented by subsequent implementing orders, under
which flights from Portugal to other Member States are subject to higher security taxes
than those applicable to certain domestic flights (hereinafter 'the provisions at issue‘), the
Portuguese Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under the combined provisions of
Article 59 of the EC Treaty (now, after amendment, Article 49 EC) and Article 3(1) of
Council Regulation (EEC) No 2408/92 of 23 July 1992 on access for Community air carriers
to intra-Community air routes.
The alleged failure to fulfil obligations and assessment by the Court
The Commission maintains that the fact that the Portuguese Republic applies higher airport
taxes to intra-Community flights than to national or regional flights is incompatible with
the freedom to provide air transport services defined in Article 3(1) of Regulation No
2408/92, which provision must, according to the Commission, be interpreted in accordance
with the general principles deriving from Article 59 of the Treaty. The freedom to provide
air transport services within the Community was, according to the Commission, enshrined
by the Council's adoption, on 23 July 1992, of the third parcel of measures designed to
give effect to the principles laid down by Article 59 of the Treaty, of which Regulation No
2408/92 is a fundamental part.
The scope of Regulation No 2408/92
The Portuguese Government submits that the subject-matter of the provisions at issue
does not fall within the scope of Regulation No 2408/92. It submits that, whilst that
regulation prohibits the Member States
from adopting rules or practices that restrict access to intra-Community air routes, it does
not govern the conditions under which flights are operated.
That distinction is invalid. The amount of airport taxes to be paid will directly and
automatically influence the price of the journey. Differences in the taxes to be paid by
passengers will automatically be reflected in the transport cost, and thus, in the present
instance, access to national or regional flights is favoured over access to intra-Community
flights. Moreover, the Court of Justice has had occasion to rule that the application of
different rates of port taxes according to whether the journey in question is domestic or
intra-Community runs counter to the principle of freedom to provide services, being a
restriction on access to shipping routes.
The very purpose of Regulation No 2408/92 is to eliminate restrictions on the freedom to
provide services within the framework of the common transport policy defined in Article 74
of the EC Treaty (now Article 70 EC) and Article 75 of the EC Treaty (now, after
amendment, Article 71 EC) and in pursuance of Article 84(2) of the Treaty which confers
on the Council power to lay down appropriate provisions with regard to air transport.
Restriction of the freedom to provide services
Whilst the Portuguese Government denies that Regulation No 2408/92 can apply to the
present case, it accepts that its national legislation must comply with the principle of
freedom to provide services enshrined in Article 59 of the Treaty.
In this connection, the Portuguese Government maintains that the provisions at issue do
comply with that principle because they do not introduce discrimination on the basis of an
As regards the absence of discrimination on the basis of an operator's nationality, it must
be observed that the Commission does not allege any such breach of the principle of
freedom to provide services.
What the Commission actually complains of is the fact that, by means of Article 10 of
Decree No 38/91 and Decree-Law No 102/91, the Portuguese Republic made the provision
of air transport services between Member States more difficult than the provision of
domestic air transport services within a Member State.
In the present case, the provisions at issue make the provision of cross-border services ·
such as the flight from Lisbon to Madrid · more costly than the provision of a comparable
domestic service · such as the flight from Lisbon to Oporto · and they thus constitute a
breach of the principle of freedom to provide services unless they are justified by
compelling reasons of public interest and the measures enacted thereby are necessary and
As far as concerns, firstly, the passenger service tax, the Portuguese Government justifies
the different treatment of domestic and intra-Community flights by reference to the fact
that additional and different services are offered to intra-Community and international
However, the Portuguese Government merely lists the services provided to passengers at
airports and fails to show that they are fundamentally different from those offered in
maritime ports. Nor does it demonstrate in what way the differences between the services
provided to passengers on intra-Community flights and those provided to passengers
travelling between two airports within Portugal constitute a compelling reason of public
interest justifying a passenger service tax on intra-Community flights that is three times
the amount of the same tax on domestic flights, or in what way such a difference in
taxation is necessary and proportional.
As regards, secondly, the security tax, the fact that a reduced rate applies to regional
flights is justified, according to the Portuguese Government, by the need to promote
regional development and to provide
special support to outlying regions for which air transport is the only solution, the
reference here being essentially to the Azores and Madeira.
Next, Article 4(1) of Regulation No 2408/92 makes provision for the promotion of the
development of certain regions. Under Article 4(1)(a), a Member State may 'impose a
public service obligation in respect of scheduled air services to an airport serving a
peripheral or development region in its territory‘. Under Article 4(1)(h), such public service
obligations may give rise to the payment of compensation.
However, whilst Regulation No 2408/92 does, in certain circumstances, permit the
imposition upon air carriers of such public services obligations, which may be the subject
of financial compensation, those obligations must be defined beforehand and any financial
quid pro quo must be capable of being identified as specific compensation for the
obligation in question.
Clearly, the difference in the amounts of security tax payable in respect of regional and
intra-Community flights cannot be attributed to public service obligations designed to
benefit autonomous regions. Whilst the Portuguese Government refers to the necessity of
bringing financial and social assistance to the autonomous regions of the Azores and
Madeira, it neither proves, nor even alleges, that it imposed a public service obligation of
any kind upon the airlines serving those regions and · most importantly · it does not deny
that the advantage conferred is not limited to flights to autonomous regions whose
situation would perhaps justify it, but benefits, or may benefit, other regional flights
specified in a list drawn up by ministerial decree and subject to change depending on
Moreover, the arguments put forward by the Portuguese Government fail to show that
there is any compelling reason of public interest that justifies the restriction of freedom to
provide services created by a security tax rate that is approximately twice as high for
intra-Community flights as for regional flights.
The Court held:
'1. By introducing under Article 10 of Decreto Regulamentar (Regulatory
Decree) No 38/91 of 29 July 1991 a higher passenger service tax for intra-
Community flights than that applicable to domestic flights and by introducing
under Decreto-Lei (Decree-Law) No 102/91 of 8 March 1991 and its
implementing orders a higher security tax for intra-Community flights than that
applicable to certain domestic flights, the Portuguese Republic has failed to fulfil
its obligations under the combined provisions of Article 59 of the EC Treaty (now,
after amendment, Article 49 EC) and Article 3(1) of Council Regulation (EEC) No
2408/92 of 23 July 1992 on access for Community air carriers to intra-
Community air routes;
The Portuguese Republic is ordered to pay the costs.‘
Advocate General S. Alber delivered his Opinion at the sitting of the Sixth
Chamber on 6 March 2001.
He proposed that the Court should hold the Portuguese Republic in breach of its