No, Eddie, we are not oppressed by the state.

Today in the Sunday Independent the occasional commentator, sometime property developer and fulltime corkman Eddie Hobbs has what my old mam used to describe as “an awful screed“. She was from Corlk…

As is often the case with Eddie there are some solid points made but its as usual hard to find these within an overblown emotive and bitter tone.
His central thesis is that the state is oppressing us. Us here seems to be SME owners. Its hard to tell with his wild uncontrolled gunfire…

Clicking on the chart will give you a page from Eurostate which is the latest cross national comparative data on tax structure in the EU. The chart is for ireland.
Its compared with GDP because guess what – thats the international benchmark. WE have decided that we want to shelter a MNC sector and so complain we want to use GDP. On that Eddie and I are at one. IT wont, shouldnt and isnt washing with our partners.
So, lets see. The rankings are 1 = highest.
We are very much towards the bottom with regard to tax paid by employers. We are very low with regard to the % of tax collected by indirect taxation (VAT). We are very low in terms of business capital taxes. Etc etc. A whole herd of sacred cows that gallop through the national debate are turned into hamburger by the facts.


3 thoughts on “No, Eddie, we are not oppressed by the state.

  1. NH

    am i reading the table correctly? isn’t the Central Government line of €36bn (ranked 3) showing that central government cost is very high to the taxpayer? furthermore if this were done on a GNP basis would we rank closer to #1 in EU 27?

    1. brianmlucey Post author

      yes, you are reading it wrong. Its showing that the PROPORTION of tax raised at the central level is the third highest in the group. In other words, showing how very centralized we are. Its has nothing to do with the quantum but all to do with the structure.

  2. gpdwyer

    The economics of Ireland indicate that GDP is a poor choice of divisor. It is not a good measure of economic activity or of the well-being of Irish residents. GDP is distorted by, among other things, world-wide revenues from Windows. GNP is much more informative. For most countries, it makes little difference which is used as a divisor. For Ireland, it does.
    The VAT rate in Ireland is not low. The personal-income-tax rate in Ireland is not low. Property taxes, at least for now, are low. The transfer tax on property is not low. The whole point of the low rate on businesses, at least administered sensibly, is to bring in more revenue than would be received otherwise. Any part of the world-wide revenue on Windows is more than Ireland would get without a low rate on such profits.


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