Look where low taxation has got us

On Tonight with Vincent BrowneJohn McGuirk of the National Forum, community development worker Anna Quigley, Evening Herald columnist Sinead Ryan and Fr Seán Healy of Social Justice Ireland wrestle with the Shaping Ireland’s Future report. {jathumbnailoff}

Below, Vincent Browne blogs ahead of the show. 

Sean Healy, a priest of the Society of African Missions, and Brigid Reynolds, a nun of the Marist Sisters, have been working on social and economic commentaries for 24 years. Their commentaries have become one of the most authoritative sources of information and analysis on issues to do with Irish society and, for almost all that time, they have operated alone.

They have just published – along with two colleagues – their latest commentary: Shaping Ireland’s Future, a massive tome, and it offers prescriptions for the economy, for the debt crisis, for employment and social justice.

Among their recurrent themes is that Ireland is a low-tax society and that we won’t be able to continue to support education, health, social welfare and other services unless the low-tax strategy is abandoned. This is a position entirely out of kilter with the prevailing “common sense”. In spite of their advocacy for almost a quarter of a century for a more equal society – and in particular, for addressing an end to poverty, which has always prevailed here – the political culture has moved in the opposite direction: indifference to inequality and poverty, a strong resistance to increased taxation and an acquiescence with the massive debt burden inflicted via the bank losses.

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Image top: Steve-h