Blog Archives

Outrage as Taoiseach’s constituency office exempt from rates – while charities pay thousands


Scandalous situation. Charity shops belonging to altruistic organisations such as St Vincent De Paul and Oxfam, helping the disadvantaged are expected to pay thousands in rates while the cushy offices of the Taoiseach, currently screwing the disadvantaged, are totally exempt.

enda kenny

The independent is running another story highlighting the cruelty and inequity of our system. As an example of our two tier society, this is a pretty good one. Our political class get away with it again while voluntary organisations staving off the very worst consequences of FG austerity measures to pay foreign bank gambling debts, for the most disadvantaged in society are totally screwed by huge commercial rates bills. Meanwhile Europe’s best paid (but worst??) politicians get a free ride on their rates bill.

There truly is no justice in this country!

Quote:

CHARITY shops in the Taoiseach’s home town of Castlebar are facing demands for thousands of euro in commercial rates – but Enda Kenny‘s constituency office is exempt from the charge.

In a lucrative perk introduced some years ago as part of the national valuation regulations, TDs‘ offices are exempt from the rates.

But in Castlebar, Co Mayo, charities such as the St Vincent de Paul and Oxfam have rates charged on their premises at the same rate as other commercial premises. The same rules apply to charity shops all over Ireland run by organisations like Age Action Ireland, Aware, Barnardos and the Irish Cancer Society.

“It is outrageous that the Taoiseach’s lavish constituency HQ is a freebie for Enda Kenny as far as rates are concerned while Oxfam and other charities are being crucified,” complained local independent councillor Frank Durkan.”

via Outrage as Taoiseach’s constituency office exempt from rates – while charities pay thousands – Indymedia Ireland.

via Outrage as Taoiseach’s constituency office exempt from rates – while charities pay thousands – Indymedia Ireland.

When parents can’t feed children, it’s not a recession, it’s a catastrophe –


AS a people, we are partial to ambiguity and to diplomatic speech, which allows what’s happening in Ireland today to be described as a recession. That belongs to the same category of euphemism whereby World War Two became the Emergency.

This is no recession, it is a catastrophe. Four years into the economic downturn — another of our delicate turns of phrase — the reality of austerity is blindingly visible.

For downturn read meltdown. For cutting back read cutting people no slack. For parity of pain read disproportionate pain.

Members of the troika could tour the country and pat every citizen personally on the head for taking their medicine, for all the good it would do. ‘Time’ magazine could put every last one of our government ministers on its cover.

But the outlook is bleaker, not brighter. This is not a case of people feeling the pinch, as was predicted. It is hardship. It is want. It is children in need: going to bed hungry, walking to school hungry.

The vulnerable have been suffering already — death by a thousand cuts. But now the cohort of citizens squeezed to the limits of their endurance is growing. And the approaching winter, with higher gas and electricity prices already authorised, is a source of dread.

Within relatively comfortable circles, a belief exists that the social protection system acts as a giant safety net. Safety nets are not infallible, however.

One in 10 people are living in food poverty, with lone parents and those on low incomes most at risk, according to a report from the Department of Social Protection. Those figures apply to 2010 — it’s hard to believe 2011 and 2012 won’t reveal further deterioration.

Food poverty — what a phrase to send a chill through the national consciousness. How is it possible in the 21st Century for our neighbours to be struggling with the most basic survival need known to humankind: food?

Out-of-work actor Joe Purcell told RTE‘s ‘Liveline‘ that he shoplifted groceries out of desperation, to feed his three children. He received 100 hours community service after being caught taking some basic breakfast items.

When choices are removed, playing by the rules becomes a luxury not everyone can afford. Especially where hungry children are concerned. Although Mr Purcell’s family are entitled to benefits, no system is free of error, and in this case the cheques went to the wrong address.

An unusual example, perhaps. But it’s no longer about tightened belts for many of our citizens. There are no more notches on their belts.

For four years we’ve been hearing macro-economic arguments, political arguments and moral hazard arguments, as bank debt was transformed into sovereign debt.

Now, executive level theorising has trickled down to the most fundamental reduction of all: the scramble to put food on the table. It is an ongoing challenge for a number of sectors, both those in work and those without work.

Poverty is all around us, and it is pointless carping that it doesn’t compare with sub-Saharan Africa or our ancestors eating grass at the height of the Great Famine. Any parent, in particular, who has been unemployed for a time or is on a low wage is liable to run into difficulties.

Shop in economy stores is the rallying cry from well-meaning people, citing the cost of a tin of beans from Aldi or Lidl. With the implication that only fecklessness prevents families from being fed for a few euro a day.

But what if a cut-price retailer isn’t located nearby? How does a parent relying on public transport manage to bring home their shopping, while trailing young children?

Shop-bought pizza, or fish and chips from the corner takeaway, are expensive day after day and nutritionally unsound. But not everyone has the ability to rustle up nourishing stews from scratch. Education is needed here, although the benefits won’t be immediate.

“It’s quite challenging to plan and deliver healthy meals on a budget,” said Audry Deane, who works on the St Vincent de Paul‘s society’s social justice and policy team. “Many people may not have the skills, particularly those from a disadvantaged background. Not everyone grew up with a Waltons’ lifestyle.”

Research by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland found families on social welfare had to spend a third of their weekly budget on food for a healthy diet. It also found it was up to 10 times cheaper to provide calories in the form of unhealthy foods high in fat, salt and sugar, than from fruit, vegetables, lean meat and fish.

In other words, it costs money to eat well. In all the discussion about a fat tax, aimed at deterring people from scoffing burgers and sugary drinks every day, we hear little about government subsidies for fruit and vegetables — surely a more nuanced approach.

Meanwhile, the SVP has recorded an 80pc increase in calls for help since 2009, as survival becomes a battle for an increasing proportion of the population.

We could return to eating nothing but potatoes at every meal — that’s how our ancestors survived. Or we could stop allowing society to become ever more imbalanced, with cushioned groups still largely sheltered from the consequences of fiscal adjustment.

A recession has become a catastrophe. Does it really have to be this way?

via Martina Devlin: When parents can’t feed children, it’s not a recession, it’s a catastrophe – Martina Devlin, Columnists – Independent.ie.

via Martina Devlin: When parents can’t feed children, it’s not a recession, it’s a catastrophe – Martina Devlin, Columnists – Independent.ie.

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

OLD HOLLYWOOD IN COLOR

...because it was never black & white

LEANNE COLE

Art and Practice

CURNBLOG

Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.

FilmBunker

Saving you from one cinematic disaster at a time.

From 1 Blogger 2 Another

Sharing Great Blog Posts

Wonders in the Dark

Cinema, music, opera, books, television, theater

Just Reviews

Just another WordPress.com site

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

conradbrunstrom

Things I never thunk before.

News from the San Diego Becks

The life and times of Erik, Veronica and Thomas

The Silent Film Quarterly

The Only Magazine Dedicated To Silent Cinema

Leaden Circles

First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.

My Archives

because the internet is not forever

CineSocialUK

Up to the minute, fair, balanced, informed film reviews.

PUZZLED PAGAN PRESENTS

A Shrine to Pop Culture Obsessiveness. With Lots of Spoilers

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” – Peter DeVries

thedullwoodexperiment

Viewing movies in a different light

Twenty Four Frames

Notes on Film by John Greco

Suzanne's Mom's Blog

Arts, Nature, Family, Good Works, Luna & Stella Birthstone Jewelry

It Doesn't Have To Be Right...

... it just has to sound plausible

NJ Corporate Portrait Photographer Blog

The life of a corporate portrait photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

arwenaragornstar

A French girl's musings...

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)

Australian movie blog - like Margaret and David, just a little younger

Octopus Films

A place for new perspectives on films, TV, media and entertainment.

scifist 2.0

A sci-fi movie history in reviews

The Reviewer's Corner

The Sometimes Serious Corner of the Internet for Anime, Manga, and Comic Reviews

Ready Steady Cut

Your favorite pop-culture site's favorite pop-culture site

First Impressions

Notes on Films and Culture

1,001 Movies Reviewed Before You Die

Where I Review One of the 1,001 Movies You Should Watch Before you Die Every Day

Movies Galore of Milwaukee

Movie Galore takes a look at Silent films on up to current in development projects and gives their own opinion on what really does happen in film!

The Catwing Has Landed

A Writer's Blog About Life and Random Things

mibih.wordpress.com/

Anime - Movies - Wrestling

Gabriel Diego Valdez

Movies and how they change you.

The Horror Incorporated Project

Lurking among the corpses are the body snatchers....plotting their next venture into the graveyard....the blood in your veins will run cold, your spine tingle, as you look into the terror of death in tonight's feature....come along with me into the chamber of horrors, for an excursion through.... Horror Incorporated!

Relatos desde mi ventana

Sentimientos, emociones y reflexiones

Teri again

Finding Me; A site about my life before and after a divorce

unveiled rhythms

Life In Verses

Gareth Roberts

Unorthodox Marketing & Strategy

leeg schrift

Taalarmen

100 Films in a Year

12 months. 100 films. Hopefully.

%d bloggers like this: