Slugger Blog Round…

Starting with Michael Taft`on the property tax:

The 2 percent increase in Capital Gains Tax and the €200 a year ‘annual property tax’ is going to hit and hit hard. The Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute is particularly up in arms: ‘a stealth tax on investment properties’ is how they described this act of radical redistribution. Good grief: those selling their property will still experience a lower marginal tax rate than someone on low pay (22 percent as opposed to 27 percent). A €200 levy is not a stealth tax: it’s pretty visible, and pretty meagre.

But Jenny notes there was increased social expenditure too:

…increases in tax relief for first time buyers and more spent on social and affordable housing. The distribution of spending between tenures will help individual households who need social housing or who are trying to buy their first home, but as a package they will help the collapsing construction industry as well. Second, there were some increases in social welfare payments and health spending, although some will argue not enough. Third, energy: increase in the fuel allowance, more spent on the warmer homes scheme, more tax on bigger cars and an air travel tax. Perhaps a sop to the Greens, but more likely to be part of the restructuring of households budgets that we’ll all have to get used to

And the rest:

Pauline McLynn was not impressed… (and yes, it’s that Pauline McLynn!)

– Chancer has a tale of two Irish actors…

– Mark remembers that 42 Days is dead…

– Chekov reds up a few loose ends after the San Marino match

– Alan wonders if the Credit Crunch is a blessing or a curse. Last night’s Moral Maze is worth catching on that too…

– And, finally, in case you missed it, Splintered on the Procrastination committee’s, well, prolonged procrastination in calling the next, er, committee meeting (didn’t we used to call the law in to sort matters out like this? Read Mairtin O Muilleoir’s excellent account of Nationalist councillor’s struggles to get themselves heard in Belfast City Council!)

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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