Charlie McCreevy: remember him?

Brian Cowan’s predecessor at Finance, has just been named ‘Person of the Year’ by Brussels think tank, The Globalisation Institute, not least for his stance on tax reduction:

“I believe taxes – of all kinds – should be kept as low as possible and that the pressure to get them down should be relentless… Taxes on income are taxes on effort, work and entrepreneurship. Taxes on capital are taxes on investment and risk taking. But it is effort, work, entrepreneurship, investment and risk taking that we need to continue to grow our economic base.”


  • Remember Who

    Charlie McCreevy

  • Mick Fealty
  • spin

    Instead of an award from a tiny right-wing group I think him and his DG holding the award for ‘Worst Privileged Access’ as voted for by thousands says more about the man and the contempt he treats people with:

    Business all the way and stifle debate, I’m not surprised the GI think he’s shit hot.

  • Rory

    McGreevey of course, like all of his kind, is not all that interested in reducing taxation per se. He knows that taxation is necessary that the limited share of the wealth created by the working class that they are able to wrest from the controllers of economic wealth might be further tapped to provide all those services neceassary to allow an economy to flourish and to finance all those , often unnecessary state enterprises from which capital profits quite outrageously.

    His interest is in reducing income tax (especially at the higher levels for higher income earners), capital gains tax and inheritance tax, in fact all those taxes that affect the already wealthy, and to spread that burden via taxes like VAT and the latest whiz, the Green Tax, so that it falls most on the mass of the population who by definition are lower income earners. The resulting taxation can then be doled out via subsidies, government contracts and of course reduction in taxes that affect the rich.

    He’s a true baron all right.

  • slug

    Right wing Tories such as John Redwood love the tax system that the Irish Republic has and point to it as a model for the UK.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I saw that case a few weeks ago where John Redwood was pointing to the Irish tax system. Not a system, so much as a rate, namely the corporation tax rate. On the other hand, however, he did not point to Irish income tax (the upper rate kicks in much sooner), nor did he point to the high VAT rate (a tax which screws poor people harder than anyone else). I wonder if Redwood’s voters would want to pay first-time vehicle registration tax, or if they would appreciate Ireland’s rate of stamp duty.

    That’s not the only dishonest sleight-of-hand that people like Redwood and McCreevy would like us not to notice. They talk about tax as if it is money confiscated by the government and then thrown on a big furnace. In practice that money is spent somewhere, so when they talk about cutting taxes, what they really mean is cutting public services. They’re just too two-faced and slithery to get up there and call for cutbacks in education, health, transport and the welfare system. Let’s face it, that’s what they’re really talking about. I won’t pretend that all taxes raised by the government are spent wisely. But most of it is there for a purpose. Enthusiasm for the debate would be markedly different if it were framed in terms of what services were to be cut back.

    I think that the parts of Europe which avoided revolution, did so in part because the aristocrats saw what happened in France and came to realize that the same would happen to them if they didn’t at least try to be seen to be helping the poor. The ultimate conclusion of this McCreevy/Redwood line, namely that very rich people continuing to make themselves stupendously rich is somehow good for the country, threatens to undo all of that work and plunge us back in the dark ages. I won’t deny that profit-maximising entrepreneurialism is the cornerstone of creating a prosperous country, but equally the absence of equality of opportunity will very quickly destroy it again. Look at Russia.

  • sammaguire

    “Due to his modest family background (his father was a lock-keeper on the Grand Canal, a job carried on by his mother after the death of his father) his post-compulsory education was achieved through winning scholarships.”

    Nice to see a working class bloke winning something for a change. Wonder if Mary Robinson-the priveleged daughter of two doctors-would have achieved so much if she was from a similar class. Likewise Rockwell College’s Dick Spring and Blackrock College’s Ruairi Quinn. Doctor’s wife Liz McManus is of similar “socialist” stock. And what about 300 (or 400 million euro) Lochlainn Quinn’s son standing for the “socialists” in Kingstown? Would take them a bit more seriously if they proposed a good socialist 99% inheritance tax. Yes, and pigs might fly!