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(en) Workers Solidarity #77 - The service charge con Taking from workers to give to the rich

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 20 Sep 2003 08:30:27 +0200 (CEST)

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News about and of interest to anarchists
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The service charges that are being brought in north and south of
the border are part of a process of further increasing the
proportion of tax paid by workers. The trend in global capitalism is
to replace 'progressive' taxes (like income tax) with flat-rate
taxes (like VAT, service charges, etc) to further shift the taxation
burden from rich to poor. This is the policy advocated by the world
bank, IMF, WTO and virtually all of the institutions of global capitalism.
In the south all through the Celtic Tiger workers' pay rises were
never much more then the inflation rate. But at the same time the
bosses were making super profits. This could be sold to workers
because of cuts in the rates of PAYE tax which meant that at the
end of the day we ended up with more money in our pockets.

The imposition of service charges (e.g. the Bin Tax) will take this
money back. PAYE workers are giving the self employed and
corporations tax breaks. And even within the PAYE sector low
paid workers end up paying a greater proportion relative to more
highly paid workers. Simply put, the service charges are all about
shifting the tax burden even more onto the shoulders of ordinary

Minister Martin Cullen has indicated that he hopes to get the bin
charge up to 700 Euro a year. And we know that they hope to get
other charges up by a couple of hundred as well. The key thing
about these charges is that a millonare like Tony O'Reilly pays the
same as a cleaner or a bus driver.

Take two households. One has an income of 20,000 the other
150,000. For the household earning 20,000 paying out 900 euros in
service charges is equivalent to an over 5% hike in income tax!
For the one earning 150,000 a service charge bill of 900 euros is
equivalent to a 0.6% hike in income tax.

So for many workers the introduction of service charges has
wiped out years of take home pay gains due to cuts in PAYE tax.
The rich have kept the benefits of these percentage cuts, ending
up thousands or tens of thousands of euros better off. It's time to
tell them where to get off.
Much more on the Bin Tax: http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity' - http://struggle.ws/wsm/paper.html

We also provide PDF files of all our publications for you to print
out and distribute locally - http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf.html

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