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Robust sense coming from the unlikeliest quarter.

If I set out to find the most unlikely place to find views in line with my own, places I would not search would include the Government's press room, editorials in the Daily Mirror and speeches from EU commissars Commissioners.

However, we would appear to be blessed (and that is the mot juste) in EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, an Irishman and Internal Market & Services Commissioner. And to prove it here is a filleting of a speech of his:

"Taxation is a levy by the State on the citizens’ own money. Money that they have earned through their own efforts – in the main, by working hard or by taking risks. The levy finances the provision of goods and services that are socially desirable and that the market alone cannot provide. Education for all. Health and welfare for those in need. Infrastructure to support economic progress. Garda and army to provide security and defence.

Some see taxation as a means of making society more equal. Of levelling down. Of limiting the upside rewards that go with taking risk or working hard. I don’t. I see it as necessary to help those who can’t help themselves and to provide services or infrastructure that is necessary for economic development but that the market alone can’t economically provide. I don’t see taxation as meritorious in its own right.
I believe taxes – of all kinds - should be kept as low as possible and that the pressure to get them down should be relentless....

I saw a study some time back which showed that if, from the start of the millennium to August 2004, you had invested €1,000 in each of Europe’s four lowest tax countries – Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Malta - your €4,000 would have appreciated by nearly 70 per cent. If you had invested the same amount in two of Europe’s highest tax countries over the same period, you would have lost between 30 and 40 per cent....

But it is clear that other things being equal investment will flow to where after tax returns are highest, and jobs will be created where investment is highest. The effective tax rate is clearly an important element in determining the net return on investment...

But of one thing I am absolutely certain, the more we seek to harmonize taxes - be it tax bases or tax rates – the more will be the tendency for overall tax levels to drift up to the worst common denominator. And let nobody fool you: Consolidating the tax base is a condition precedent to consolidating the rate. And make no mistake: The agenda of most of those currently seeking to consolidate Europe's tax base is to have the framework in place to consolidate longer term Europe's tax rates...

Higher taxes also feed fatter government. And fat government feeds taxpayer resentment as investment flows out, tax-generating jobs are lost, compliance diminishes, and black markets grow.To avoid this longer term vicious spiral requires Europe's high taxing governments to stop seeking tax consolidation across the EU and to start facing up to the imperative of focusing on need when it comes to social spending, and to focusing on value in other spending....

In short, Europe needs low cost government as much as it needs low cost airlines....

When I halved the rate of capital gains tax, the following year the tax take doubled. Now the take at the 20 per cent rate in one year exceeds the cumulative total taken over a quarter of a century at the 40 per cent rate Does this not tell its own story?"

And just for once, I will to one side that the fact of Eire being hosed down with European money makes it an awful lot easier for it to cut taxes, as McCreevy is arguing in favour of tax cutting for all, not just Eire. Meanwhile, any chance of a backroom putsch that sees him take over from the potato-faced Barroso?


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Blogger Newmania said... 2:51 pm

As ever with the Irish there is more to it than good sense . It is absolutely elephant in tea-room obvious , what their worry is . They are going very well with super low taxes and at the same time letting the rest of the EU pick up the bill.

Half is never enough for them . I have dealt with many and not once been told the truth.

I look forward to having nothing to do with it and tax harmonisation is a terrifying prospect.We might just as well not vote at all.

Good post C one of your best  

Anonymous David Allen said... 4:43 pm

Form an orderly queue to have that man's babies! Like to hear more of this kind of thing from DC and team.
N, you ARe having a 'glass half empty' day, aren't you? (gobsmacked by your post over at Ellee's earlier) Surely you aren't THAT depressed to be back in London after your weekend away?  

Blogger Newmania said... 4:48 pm

I have got a cold David and I do feel an utter misery . Oh dear I didn`t know it was showing.  

Blogger Dan Sullivan said... 4:48 pm

Ireland gave up far more in fishing stock that we received in EU grants over the last 34 year. Mostly to the French and Spanish.

We're a net contributor to the EU the last two years or so and wil be into the future and all without an increase in the low corporation or capital gains taxes required. I'm from a different party to Charlie but he was a straight talker who said what he thought and believed in.  

Blogger Newmania said... 5:12 pm

Ireland gave up far more in fishing stock that we received in EU grants over the last 34 year. Mostly to the French and Spanish.

Well if we are going to include off balance sheet suffering I don`t know where to start with our disaster.

Any way its none of our business if they can get a good deal from the EU more fool us for putting up with the whole con trick. We have to get out we are being bled dry and poisoned as a country. This will only get worse and as far as the Irish are concerned their new found love of pooled sovereignty is, a follow the money problem.

I increasingly find it incredible that we want to have anything to do with this pack of thieves. there is nothing , nothing in it for us and a clear majority are coming to see this . As Ireland are up and running ( they say) our absence will I assume be a matter of indifference to them.

As it should be  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 5:40 pm

He's Irish, he works for the EU; he must be taking the Mick...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:38 pm

Sounds like quite the fellow this McCreevy chap, doesn't he? Maybe another one for a transfer market in politicians?

N - I'm feeling charitable so I will spare you the inevitable Dr Johnson quote.  

Blogger james higham said... 10:00 pm

...In short, Europe needs low cost government as much as it needs low cost airlines....Interesting coming from him.  

Blogger Serf said... 9:45 am

As a complete Europhobe I have this to say about the Irish and their use of EU money:

If they used our taxpayers cash to reduce their taxes, good on them. The upshot is that they are now rich and a burden on nobody.

Compare that to Greece for example, who have become EU fund junkies. They will never be rich, preferring to suck on the teat of our generosity.  

Blogger Arthurian Legend said... 12:47 pm

Except, Serf, I am not being "generous". I am being stolen from. There is a BIG difference.  

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