that's capitalism

It's Official! Tax fraud is okay if you are rich

The most senior tax official in the 26 counties, Revenue Commissioners chair Frank Daly, appeared before the Dail Committee of Public Accounts last November 18th. His remarks deserve a wide circulation.

When Socialist Party TD, Joe Higgins, suggested it was "clear that, if you are a big banker, you can steal with impunity from the tax payer but if you are an ordinary person you will go to prison for stealing a few hundred euro", Mr Daly said "you are quite right".

He also said that the Revenue had tried to prosecute banks and financial advisors for "aiding and abetting" tax evasion but had been told by the (politically appointed) Director of Public Prosecutions that they "didn't have a case".

Handbags & Hospital Beds

Back in 2001 the government promised to provide an extra 3,000 hospital beds in the 26 counties. Late last year Bertie Ahern stood up in the Dáil and claimed that 900 of them had already been put in place. It was a lie, a deliberate lie.

That figure included 255 'recliners', 298 'trolleys' and 83 'couches'. So, of the 3,000 new beds, only 264 have been provided.

Of course there are no problems for the government and their wealthy pals. They have the Blackrock Clinic, Mater Private and many other private hospitals to go to. No waiting on trolleys there.

Is this an exception? Maybe it's just that health poses particular difficulties? In November Education Minister Mary Hanafin announced that the government's pledge to cut primary school class sizes to 20 by 2007 has been torn up.

As John Carr, general secretary of the Irish National Teachers_ Organisation, said "This was a specific commitment. It was unequivocal". But that means nothing to most politicians. They lie to get into power and then put most of their effort into looking after the wealthy. You can be sure there are no overcrowded class in Rockwell, Gonzaga, St Michaels or any of the other private fee paying schools.

And before some Public Relations chancer from Mary Harney's office tells us that there just isn't the cash for a decent medical or education service, think about the number of rich parasites who have so much money that they don't know what to do with it.

Over 500 women have put their names down on a waiting list to buy handbags that cost at least E4,000 and as much as E50,000. That's just in one shop, the Hermes store in Dublin's Brown Thomas.

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This edition is No84 published in Jan 2005