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I really can't think of anyone on this site whole would describe Fine Gael as "just groovy". And we've been busy ranting about the Irish system for years - generally in response to the stupid claims by EU leaders about how great it was and how wealthy it had become on light regulation and low taxes. How many times have I pointed out that the main thing going on before the before the boom got silly (mid 2000's?) was catch up due to infrastructure spending by the EU and favorable demographics?
The Irish tax system needs restructuring, but the problem wasn't so much that the rates were too low but rather that they were too dependent on cyclical spending - and construction in particular - and that should have been fixed when we had the money sloshing around to do it. Raising personal taxation rates in a depression is not an especially good plan. Neither are massive government cutbacks, of course.
And irish taxes in relation to gdp are below the average. And that is a problem. Now you argue with GNR and the gap between GDp and gnr in Ireland. But that just proves the status of Ireland as a tax haven.
Irish taxes are a bit low, but so's spending, generally. Which isn't what the debate in Ireland says, of course, but there you go. The conventional wisdom is of a high tax, high public spending economy - which is total bollocks when you look at the numbers.
I know ET sometimes has a somewhat exaggerated notion of its own importance,
"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
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