Has Sinn Fein lost touch with capitalist south?

Fascinating and only slightly tongue in cheek review of Sinn Fein’s economic policy from David McWilliams in the Sunday Business Post. Amongst other things, he wonders how it anti private capital bent will go down with the “86 per cent of Irish people who own their own homes”.

“The main problem with the provo riche manifesto is that (like its bank robbing genesis) it says very little about creating wealth, but lots about taking wealth.

“Here, for example, is the provo riche policy on taxation taken from Sinn Féin’s 2005 pre-budget submission: “It is essential to reform and re-weigh the taxation system in favour of the low paid and to increase the overall tax take by targeting wealth, speculative property and corporate profits.”

“Measures should include the end of tax avoidance schemes, measured increases in corporation tax and increased capital gains tax for owners of multiple properties and a 50 per cent tax band for incomes over €100,000.

“So far so extortionate. So the provo riche’s policy is about taking money from the rich, but what does the manifesto say about creating money and wealth? Not a lot, frankly. But back in 2003, at a submission to the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, the provo riche had the following to say about your house: “Private property has been and remains an instrument of oppression of people the world over.”

“There are those (maybe the 86 per cent of Irish people who own their own homes) who would argue the opposite: that private property and ownership is the very cornerstone of a civilised, law-abiding society, that with property rights come responsibilities – the sort of responsibilities that bind families and communities together.

“Once a manifesto deviates from private ownership, at the very least it puts huge faith in the promise of public ownership. And this is at the core of the provo riche economic doctrine. It believes in the state – the power of the state, the control of the state over people and the primacy of the will of the collective over the rights of the individual”.

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