RED C: SF continues to slide, and it’s hard to see a credible way back for the coalition

Just quickly to bring us up to date with the latest Red C poll…

Two notable things. One is the rise again of independents, which puts my working theory of ‘convergence’ severely to the test. As the new Social Democrat candidate for East Cork Ken Curtain notes:

The other is the ongoing (if slow) decline in the Sinn Fein poll rating. Richard Colwell, the MD of RED C:

The really interesting trend over the longer term however, has instead been the decline in support for Sinn Fein. Perhaps another sign of the move away from the protest vote at polling in the mid-term, back towards the more established parties.
The fall in 1st preference support for the party in this poll, is relatively small at 2% and well within the margin of error, so could effectively be discounted. The longer term trend in support however tells another story.
Back in December we were recording the highest levels of support seen for Sinn Fein in any RED C poll, reaching a high of 24% of the first preference vote. In today’s poll they secured just 16%, the worst level seen for the party since February 2014. That means that in effect the party has lost 8% support over the first 9 months of the year.
Over that period the loss in support hasn’t been a steady decline, with drops in January and March following scandals that were soon reversed to some extent in the months afterwards. The problem is that the gains haven’t been as strong as the losses, and so one scandal after another has seen a gradual seepage of voters away from the party at almost 1% a month for the past nine months.

The exception seems to be Dublin, where Sinn Fein are currently registering the largest popular rating:

I’m not sure if that rating is contiguous with the EP elections, but that FF rating looks like a three point rise on its poor showing last year.. Looking at the Poll of Polls, the gaps are not yet showing over the medium to long term over all polls:

The key issue however is not yet who makes up the opposition, but how does the current government make it back with Labour ailing so badly? Despite a lot of speculation on the matter, it is unlikely that FG and FF will form any grand coalition.

Fianna Fail will probably want further time in opposition to sort out its new intake, and get ready for its second phase play.

Given this first term in opposition has been about proving it is the party of Opposition rather than a credible bid for power, we can only expect the shift to come after the election, depending of course where it lands in terms of new TDs.

Right now, the rating is probably underpowered by two or three percent. Certainly if it lands anywhere close to Adrian Kavanagh’s predictions it will be well short of what it needs for consolidatation, and questions will be asked of Micheal Martin:

But there’s a long way to go before then…

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  • Zeno

    The Polls must be wrong. All I hear from Robin is about the hundreds (maybe thousands) of young intelligent people joining SF and how the party continues to grow bigger by the minute.

  • JohnTheOptimist

    Looks like SF are headed for a gigantic flop in the coming ROI election. If so, their entire strategy since the GFA will have gone up in flames. Ditto with all the left-wing parties. Labour imploding. AAA/PBP nowhere. Social democrats nowhere. All the new political groupings of recent years are faring extremely badly, although Renua, at a still-paltry 2%, are doing better than the others. If any of these new small parties were to make a breakthrough from the 1-2% range to a 6-8% range and be in with a chance of seats, I’d bet on Renua before the various left-wing ones.

    The reality is that Ireland is a centre-right country which believes in small government and low taxes. All the noise made by parties pushing various strands of left-wing gibberish, all their anger and rage, all their marching, demonstrating, mini-rioting, all their holding government ministers hostage in their cars, and all their domination of the media in Ireland can’t obscure this simple fact. If the left can’t make a breakthrough at this election, after the worst global recession since the 1930s, what chance have they as the now strong economic recovery consolidates and spreads?

    Given the collapse in the Labour vote, and the failure of the other left-wing parties to make headway, the left’s representation in the next Dail looks like being very low indeed. This will mean little pressure to bring in those changes that the left craves: state-confiscation of Catholic (and other religious) schools, abortion-on-demand, an end to private healthcare etc etc

    Post-election there’s going to be a lot of disappointment and bitter recrimination among left-wing parties, with each blaming the other for the debacle.

    SF’s failure is not surprising. SF in the Republic is no longer a rural nationalist party (which it once was), but a party mainly supported by Dublin liberals, who are far more interested in eliminating the influence of the Catholic Church and religion generally in Ireland than in the reunification of Ireland. Hence, SF gets a relatively respectable 22% in Dublin. But, if it gets 22% in Dublin, but only 16% nationally, that means its only getting about 13% outside Dublin. With SF reeling, post-election would be a good time for FG or (more likely) FF to start organising in N. Ireland.

    So, clearly Ireland is heading for another centre-right government. But, what kind of one? It could be FG/FF, or FG/Lab or a minority FG government (since independents are not going to vote for another election straight after this one). Frankly, it doesn’t matter much which one of these it is. The policies will be pretty much the same whichever. My first preference would be for FG/FF (actually I’d prefer FF/FG, but that’s unlikely). But, I’d settle for FG/Lab, given that Labour’s influence in the next government (were they in it), would be much less than in this government when they had the numbers. So no more bowing to Labour demands like closing the Irish Embassy to the Vatican or Repealing the 8th.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My experience too, Zeno, alas. Most of the more idealistic young I meet in the south seem to gravitate to SF, and to be ignoring issues such as GA’s record on woman’s issues. While I don’t miss the irony of this, their core base for the long term is seemingly continuing to build, although none of this is inconsistent with a steady loss of general voter support.

  • Jag

    “it is unlikely that FG and FF will form any grand coalition”

    Would you ever feck off Mick.

    FG/FF is the only feasible coalition that could last more than 12 months.

    FF say “no” of course, and that position has been ratified at their Ard Fheis.

    But come on.

    In February 2016, FG will get around 55 seats, FF will get around 32. Together, they’d have 87 seats, 9 more than the majority needed and that buffer would see off dissidents/rebels for several years.

    Enda will say to Micheal in February 2016 “I know you said “no”, but come on, the country needs you to say “yes” , do you really want the other lot to ruin the country which we both hold dear, and just to sugar the pill, I’ll give you 45% of the ministries even though you’ve only 35% of the seats. You can even have health and public expenditure. And with the economy predicted to grow by 20% in the next five years, we can both blossom and obliterate the other lot come 2021″

  • Jag

    SF though is not having a good year. The economy is humming, even though the recovery is uneven, and economic matters tends to dominate electoral arithmetic. SF can hope for banana skins for the government, but they’re failing to capitalise on Fennelly, whistleblowing scandals, problems in health, policing and increasingly education and transport. And they have plenty of banana skins of their own, especially after someone, somewhere made a decision to kill Kevin McGuigan.

    A year ago, SF was predicted to get around 33 seats in the next Dail, that’s down to around 26 today. They may actually lose one or two seats from the current 14, though their growth in the past five years should see a dozen new faces.

    The nightmare, or perhaps bad dream, for SF will be if FG/Labour do return to power. FF would then remain the main Opposition party. The economy is generally humming, and if disaffected voters are looking for change, there are other parties which challenge that space – Social Democrats, Independents Alliance, Renua, AAA, People before Profit.

    SF face the prospect of withering on the vine.

  • chrisjones2

    This will come as a dreadful blow to all the Securocrats in Westminster and at Holywood. All that investment in time and treasure to no avail!!!

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    You mention in another comment below the important point that if there is a FG/FF coalition then SF will be the main opposition party, which rather than causing SF to ‘wither on the vine’ would possibly give them a lot more credibility as a ‘government party in waiting’ than staying as another smaller opposition party (this isn’t inevitable though as it might also just give them more opportunities to say stupid things and ongoing paramilitary events in the North would possibly reflect even more badly on them in that role).

    That’d allow them to swallow up some Labour votes as well as some AAA/PBP votes that aren’t necessarily just protest ones and build on that for the next election cycle (which, given that FF and FG aren’t used to sharing power with one another would probably be rather soon). The (inevitable?) collapse of a grand coalition would also allow SF to portray the FF and FG as one and the same and continuing on their path of f**king the country up. The economy might be predicted to grow by 20% over five years, but the question that SF and other left-wing parties will be pushing is who that 20% has really helped under FG/FF?

    If the grand coalition does come about, it raises an interesting question as well about the Assembly elections – would being the main opposition party in the Dail help SF’s prospects North of the border as they gain a certain degree of credibility and stability in the South? Also, what effect would a possible SF First Minister (provided that the UUP gain a fair bit from the DUP and reduce them enough in size, a very very big IF) have on a quick election following a collapse of a grand coalition?

  • chrisjones2

    “SF though is not having a good year. The economy is humming,”

    That sums it up. What’s good for Ireland is not good for SF!! The Army Council need to review the Strategy

  • Zeno

    “although none of this is inconsistent with a steady loss of general voter support.”

    Ah Seaan I’m sure someone will be along in a minute to explain that little conundrum and turn it into something positive for the party.

  • Jag

    Not at all Chris, if SF were in power and the economy was humming, it would be equally difficult for the Opposition to get a foothold.

    You could theoretically have a strong growing economy under SF, though they remain untested in that department.

  • Neil

    I’ll bite. Plot these numbers on a graph and describe the trend:

    4 seats (2007)
    14 seats (2011)
    22 seats (projected)

    Sorry to break the bad news but based on the above figures trying to spin growth of greater than 50% as a loss is going to be quite difficult to do.

  • Jag

    I think a FG/FF coalition could nicely last five years. There would be increasing friction as a 2021 election hoved into view with attempts to differentiate policy and to snaffle more funds for their own ministries.

    I can’t see any other coalition lasting a full term.

  • Jag

    You missed out 2002 when SF won 5 seats. They lost one (or 20% if you want to be dramatic) in 2007 when the economy was booming to the point of overheating.

    The 2008-2013 was the greatest economic catastrophe since the 1920s/30s, yet SF haven’t won a single one of the seven by-elections. They did okay with the locals with around 15%, and did spectacularly well with the Europeans, but if they’re only at 22 seats (I’d say more like 26) as the crisis is ending and a recovery is taking hold, what will it be like in 2021. Back to four again?

  • Zeno

    “The reality is that Ireland is a centre-right country which believes in small government and low taxes.

    Low business tax but high personal tax for high earners who pay paying 52%

  • Neil

    It’s obviously far too difficult to make any kind of prediction – even for the forthcoming election based on the numbers in that poll. I’m just drawing attention to the ridiculousness of the comments saying SF is dead in the water at 50% growth.

    My comment was in response to this:

    someone will be along in a minute to explain that little conundrum and turn it into something positive for the party

    I figured out a way to “explain that little conundrum and turn it into something positive for the party” without really trying very hard. 50% growth is positive for the party. See, it was easy.

  • Granni Trixie

    I upticked Zenos post as tongue in cheek.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    And the good new of the week is live and hope dads army continue to fall, because that they are all sociopathic liars- cults and have destroyed NI civil rights. Wreck familes lives destroy trust.

  • mickfealty

    That’s just one reason why I don’t think there’s going to be a grand coalition…

  • Robin Keogh

    I have said probably a dozen times on here before that SF need to score 15 percent or over in order to win a significant presence in the next Dail. over the last year as the economy accelerates all parties on the left have seen a steady decline with SF having the added problem of dealing with a smear campaign led by INM and Michael Martin. This is the second Red C Poll in a row which put SF on 16 (scarily close to the magic 15). However lasts weeks Sunday Times poll put us at 18 percent. The local and Euro results last year were 15 and 19 percent respectively which lines up with current polling. There is four months to go before the election and while we cant do much to counter the lies and smear coming from powerful interests we can work hard on the ground during the campaign and we are all ready and willing. SF is way ahead of the other parties in Dublin and Cork, it also beats the other parties dramatically in counties Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth which explains the depth of this current wave of smear focused on border regions. The party is now bigger than at any other time since partition and will certainly gain seats in the next election if it can hold on at current polling levels.

  • Robin Keogh

    Zeno seems to imagine me in his dreams it would appear.

  • Robin Keogh

    Jag I think in fairness when you look at the bi-elections you see in all of them a significant increase in support for SF, particularly in areas where there was almost a zero party structure on the ground until recently.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Me too!!! Although the steady “Corbyn surge” effect in SF is quite plain to see for any who know the party close up at all. I put it down to the general malaise of politics across the island.

  • Zeno

    “…….a steady decline with SF having the added problem of dealing with a smear campaign led by INM and Michael Martin.”

    Can repeating the truth be a smear? If these people are telling lies about SF the Courts are available to sue them.

  • JohnTheOptimist

    The evidence from previous general elections in the Republic is that the SF vote falls by 2-3% in the weeks preceding the election. If this happens in the coming election, SF will poll in the low teens, similar to what Martin McGuinness polled in the Presidential election. Generally, far-left parties poll better in council elections than in general elections, as the electorate are less likely in the latter to trust them with the economy or to give them tax-raising powers. So, if SF only polled 15% in the last council elections, the omens don’t look good for them in the general election.

    The main factor militating against SF is the performance of the economy. Quite simply, SF backed the wrong horse. The Irish economy is doing spectacularly better than the Greek economy, and its Greece which SF have been holding up as the model for Ireland to follow. In addition, the Republic’s economy is doing better than the North’s economy where SF are in government. The Republic has now completed its austerity program and, as the last budget showed, is now in expansion mode again, while SF are still implementing severe austerity cuts in the North.

    As if this wasn’t enough, there is also the fact that it has now been shown that the PIRA Army Council oversee SF’s decision-making. But, as every dog in the street knows, the PIRA Army Council is riddled with MI5 agents. A lot of the Republic’s electorate will care little about that if it played a part in bringing the PIRA campaign to an end, but will be appalled at the prospect of MI5 overseeing decision-making by the Irish government, which would be the case if SF were in it.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    Onl ones who are liars is Daddy cult. Ireland – can tell you people are not stupid.
    Stormont is a mess, Army council PSF are untrustworthy ruthlessness and sociopathic liars. Why did they murder more Catholics civilians what for?

  • Jack Stone

    Well 2 things, One, We don’t know how these polls break down by age.
    The recent IRA scandal may have hurt the party with older voters. Which
    could explain the drop while pointing to long term growth. Secondly, We do not know how many of the supporters of Independents’ order of preference supports Sinn Fein. We will see.

  • Jack Stone

    No, Chris has a point. Their strategy is linked to anti-establishment anger and if the establishment is being successful and gaining good will then it hurts the level of Anti-establishment anger.

  • Zeno

    OK so the new people aren’t joining as fast as the older supporters are withdrawing their support? That would explain it.

  • Ciarán

    Mary Anne, we get it… you don’t like Sinn Fein but can you at least think what you’re going to write before starting to type? This is just incoherent gibberish.

  • Zeno

    Thanks but the conundrum is how the support is falling in the polls when we are being told regularly about the 100’s of new young intelligent people joining the party. We can count the number of seats they have compared to 2002 or 2007 ourselves and there is no dispute about that.

  • Zeno

    lol, you’re not my type.

  • Zeno

    “I figured out a way to “explain that little conundrum and turn it into something positive for the party” without really trying very hard.”

    No you didn’t, maybe that’s why you found it so easy and didn’t have to try. There was no “conundrum ” concerning how many seats SF have. The puzzle is how the party is falling in the polls when we are being told regularly about the growth and the 100’s of new members.
    You wanna have a go at that one?

  • mickfealty

    I don’t think it will/can last a full term if these conditions prevail.

    Which of FF or FG do you think wants to be the mud guard? We’ve seen what happened to PASOK’s attempt to do the right thing on behalf of Greece. So has anyone who watches politics across the board…

    At current rates FG should hit the front, possibly taking FF in their slip stream… No point in obliterating that advantage by actually going into government with them…

  • Roger

    Tax on personal income in Ireland is much higher than in the UK

  • Roger

    I tend to agree with what Senator Norris once said about SF and human rights.

  • Roger

    Are they untested? Aren’t they in the NI Exec?
    Maybe that doesn’t count. I suppose they don’t have much powers there. I’ve never evaluated just how many powers are devolved relative to say a Land in Germany. I would think less powers but haven’t worked that out.

  • Robin Keogh

    What have the voting intention polls got to do with SF membership applications?

  • Robin Keogh

    Mary, could u google ‘spelling’ and ‘punctuation’ … dont mean to offend but its hard to follow your comments.

  • Robin Keogh

    Welcome to Loyalist Ulster

  • TruthToPower

    Mary, I’m not being rude but are you inebriated? Your postings are really rambling and don’t do you or this site a service and by the way, I don’t like SF much either

  • TruthToPower

    Pardon?

  • aquifer

    LATEST. SF have concluded an electoral pact with independents and anti-water tax candidates. They may be economically illiterate, but they can make votes count. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn should take a lesson before first past the post puts in a permanent Tory cabal. Electoral politics will always punish stupidity.

  • Zeno

    lol, good one.

  • Gingray

    Mick
    Sorry, the title of you piece here is “RED C: SF continues to slide”.

    In the Red C poll, SF got 16%, which if I recall from Adrians blog is no change. Same goes for behaviour and attitudes (last 2 polls have them on 19%) while Millward Brown have had them at 21 in their last 2 polls. Only Ipsos has seen them drop, from 21% in May to 19% in September.

    Your headlines are getting as factually incorrect as those of the Irish Indepenent.

    Now, as this graphic shows, SF have been on the slide across the earlier part of the year, but the recent polls are now showing us the opposite – a leveling off.

    Really Mick, you should know better.

  • Robin Keogh

    You are correct, in fact in every election SF tradionally scores lower than polls suggest. Except the last one. In the Euros all three candidates achieved on average 3% higher than opinion polls predicted.

    The 15% won in the locals was a huge increase on the previous years with votes transferring en masse to SF from smaller left wing parties and like minded individuals.

    In past general elections turn out amongst young voters, those on lower incomes and those most vulnerable has been pretty poor. Support for SF is traditionally stronger in these sections of society. However, water charges, property charges and cuts to payments and services have mobilised this section of society as shown in recent street protests. SF will have to work with smaller left parties to get these folk to the polls. Today SF have officially agreed a voting pact with such parties and independents which suggests there will be a united left front for the next election.

  • Robin Keogh

    The economy is indeed firing well. The Celtic Phoenix is spreading its wings. The problem however lie in the fact that there is no tangible trickle down. A huge section of the population have bot benifited from three years of growth and there is little sign of that changing.

  • Jag

    Mudguard for what? If the economy is growing 3% a year and with inflation, more like 5% and with unemployment heading down from 9% to 6%, each FG and FF ministry will have more to spend, and taxes will be cut. Win-win.

    Where’s the difference in policy between FG/FF? Both promote low-tax economies with decent (not threadbare, not overstuffed) public services.

    FG will be the lead party, though it will have to offer proportionately more ministries to FF to establish the coalition.

    Where does it say that every coalition must have a mudguard?

    The instability will arise around 2020 when they’ll have lost a few dissidents and with the next election looming, where they’ll need distinguish and differentiate, and win more funding for their individual ministries and constituencies.

    And if not FG/FF, then what? Minority govt wouldn’t last six months and there’s no other probable configuration which would have any form of stability.

  • Jag

    That’s a fair point, but I wonder how “huge” the section of the population not benefitting is. There are a lot more in employment, retail sales are up nearly 10% in the past year and there are far fewer sales/discounts this year, wages are rising albeit at a modest pace, the public sector is about to see more restoration of pay, and the recent budget has put a little more money in people’s pockets generally.

    I’m not buying the “huge” part at all, I think with each passing week, the portion benefitting is growing. 1,100 households a week for example are seeing a member being employed.

    I think it’s more accurate to say that the vast majority are benefitting but some are benefitting far far more than others.That’s a challenge for SF which is presumably why they’re attempting to win a platform on highlighting the inequality of the recovery.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The light green is Fianna Fáil, the dark Green is SF.

  • Gingray

    Cheers Kevin, I thought the detail was included.
    Labour red, FG light blue and independents black.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It’ll go down as Independents, but I usually say others

  • Robin Keogh

    The unequal recovery has been highlighted by social groups and other parties and independents including Fianna Fail. After two rounds of water bills barely 50% of households have paid even one of them. The gov in the budget handed 200 billion in tax cuts to the richest 14% at a time when we have a homeless and housing crisis abd the longest hospital waiting lists in the history of the state and with more people on trolleys than ever before. Most of the new jobs created are on ‘job bridge’ schemes which is basically poverty employment. 400k have emigrated over the last four years. Rural towns and villages are literally decimated ghost towns with boarded up businesses and zero employment prospects. I have been canvassing for 6 weeks now and people are hungry to get to the polls and punish the gov with Labour set to be the punch bag.

  • Gingray

    Zeno
    Its not like you to ignore the facts.
    3 of the 4 polling companies in the South have shown the Sinn Fein vote to have held at the same level the last 2 polls they have put out.
    Perhaps they will fall, perhaps they will not, but the current picture, post summer, is a series of polls showing the Sinn Fein vote holding steady.

    Try to get your facts straight chum, you had really cleaned up your act and stopped the lying, but I see you are straying once more.

  • Zeno

    Just like temp you completely missed the point ……………wooooooooooosh

  • Gingray

    You made a point? Sorry I just saw a rabid loyalist attack there.

    I get that you don’t understand politics in general or those in Ireland in particular but let me explain.

    We have elections for determining improvement. So judging sinn fein on a poll now compared to one 6 months ago is stupid.

    Look at election cycles globally and a pattern emerges – governments tend to dip mid term with the opposition high before they converge. Human nature dude.

    So compared to one year ago sinn fein are down, two years ago no change, three years ago up, last election up substantially.

  • Zeno

    “You made a point? Sorry I just saw a rabid loyalist attack there.”

    How do you get away with all the personal attacks and insults?
    Do you have immunity?

  • Gingray

    Damn, found out. I’m really Mick Fealty, it’s my republican personality so can’t punish myself.

    No Zeno, I’m not immune, you just fail to grasp that most people on Slugger are on to your lies and factual errors. I’m simply correcting you when I can.

  • Zeno

    When you can’t play the ball you play the man. Now………… go away or I will report you.

  • Gingray

    Oh, classic zeno bully boy tactics. When you can’t stand over the claims you make, try to intimidate those who challenge.

    You can’t hide from the truth Zeno!

    Can you explain how the party you have mentioned 147 times in the last week are falling in the polls, when the majority, including red c show them as steady?

    I get that you live on Slugger, surely you know that you can’t lie?

  • Jag

    On water, SF is on okay ground, but really just on a spectrum sandwiched between FF opposing charges on your right, and the socialists opposing them on your left. I’d say the socialists have most credibility on the issue, followed by SF and then FF.

    You’re wrong about the jobs created. The monthly Exchequer returns don’t lie, and contrary to some misinformation out there that the new jobs are jobbridge internships, or part-time or yellowpack, the Exchequer returns suggest they’re average quality.

    Yes, this is a centre-right govt, its ethos is to cut taxes in the hope it encourages growth. That’s to be expected. What’s surprising is SF favours a cut in corporate tax rates in the North. I’m sure it sticks in your craw that the megacorporations will cut their tax bills, but you do it because of the growth that accompanies the reduction in tax. But that’s a right wing principle.

    It has to be the SF hope that Labour is thrashed, because if the next govt is FG/Labour, then SF faces a bit of a crisis. About a year ago, Labour was on the floor, with 5-6% polls, in the last couple of months, they’ve been at 7-10%, and with a recovering economy, their support SHOULD be growing. Will they actually be at 10% in February 2016? Hard to tell, but if they’re closer to 13%, there could well be a FG/Labour govt.

  • Jag

    That’s true Robin, the bye-elections have shown gains for SF in terms of share, and that augurs well in some instances for the general election when the increased share should secure a seat in multi-seat constituencies.

    But the increase in share has not been impressive when you consider the austerity policies pursued by the govt, and incompetence in areas such as household tax, water charges and policing. The socialists have rocketed in west and south west Dublin, compared with SF.

    And with the economy recovering, I think 2014 was probably SF’s best opportunity, and from then on up, it’s uphill.

  • Croiteir

    Cyprus, Ireland and Malta all have Tax Freedom Day earlier than the UK. This indicates that the average worker pays less tax in those countries than the UK. So what evidence supports your assertion?

  • Croiteir

    Were did you get the “400K emigrated” from?

  • Roger

    To be clear, I spoke of income tax and not tax generally.

    It so happened that I became curious about this very point some days ago and plugged some numbers into (i) the http://www.Deloitte.ie income tax calculator and (ii) the http://www.uktaxcalculators.co.uk income tax calculator. On the numbers I ran, income tax was much higher in Ireland. By income tax, I mean tax on income whatever it is called.

    I haven’t done exhaustive research, so if you can use the same calculators to show Irish tax is lower, I’d be well impressed.

    I should add that really, you’ve spoken about tax that the average worker pays. I’ve spoken about income tax being higher in Ireland. We are not exactly talking about the same things. If you have a big income, you will pay much more income tax in Ireland. That’s higher income tax.

  • Croiteir

    And if you have a low wage you pay much less, but that means no more than what it is, a mere statement. The true cost of taxation is better measured by how long it taes the tax payer to pay it. The simple fact is that the tax burden in the UK and most of Europe is much higher. And in the context of the discussion that is a better indication of whether the Republic is a right wing orientated tax system or a left wing one.

  • Robin Keogh
  • Croiteir

    I see the confusion – he said 2008 to 2014 – you said 4 years. Simple enough mistake. However I would also point out that a substantial amount of those leaving were not Irish citizens.

  • Robin Keogh

    We actually dont know the exact stats but hoped we might after the 2016 census. However it appears next years census might be postponed by fg/lab as a cost cutting measure… or maybe to hide the facts?

  • Roger

    If we are both talking about income tax (I’m not sure if we are), have you plugged any numbers into those websites? Did you find any that showed an Irish income tax payer paying less than a UK one? I am interested.

  • Croiteir

    I don’t know Robin – according to the CSO, and admittedly they are estimating, the emigration rates are falling and FG would be able to present that as a success.

  • Croiteir

    And another oddity to be noted is that at no time did the population actually decline, in every year it increased. The last time there was a population decrease was in 1990. So if rural Ireland is decimated it is not due to emigration.

  • Croiteir

    I am talking about the tax burden, as I have said in my previous post, which is more relevant to Zeno’s post than just using income tax, no mention of Nat Ins, VAT or any other of the pocket dipping that the government uses to deprive you of funds. Here is a pdf for 2014, if 2015 exists I am too lazy to find it. Figures by Ernst and Young http://europeanreform.org/files/New_Direction_-_2014_Tax_Burden_of_Typical_Workers_in_the_EU.pdf

  • Zeno

    Maybe a United Ireland wouldn’t be such a good idea for us.

  • Robin Keogh

    Yes the rates have fallen but the damage has been done in the eyes of those who have lost kids to America Canada and elsewhere. Rural towns are scarred by boarded up businesses, even large towns such as Arklow have lost many family businesses on the main street. Fine Gael appeal to the higher middle classes and super wealthy. Thats their domographic and they are the people who are benifitting from tge recovery.

  • Robin Keogh

    At the moment yes

  • Robin Keogh

    Inward migration of foreign nationals looking to study and or work combined with a very high birth rate can answer that most likely. The Brain drain of our third level graduates since 2008 has been undeniable.

  • Robin Keogh

    He is not playing the Man Zeno. He just echoing the view of many who see your comments and lack of factual evidence as game playing rather than mature engagement. Taunting is not really the best way to earn respect either. Say your piece whatever it is and have a discussion rather than avoiding the complexity of the issues.

  • Croiteir

    The closure of shops is happening throughout Ireland Robin and cannot be attributed to emigration, even Ballymena, once the town of millionaires has had a massive problem with empty shops. as for the emigration and the brain drain I have no doubt that those who have prospects abroad and are able to exploit their educational status are best equipped to go but there again it is a natural process, we had high numbers of 3rd level immigration which is a brain gain.

  • Robin Keogh

    Unfortunateky not so straight forward. Many reports from various quarters pointed to the feeling of forced emigration amongst those who left these shores. Whike bilkions were poured into saving bankers asses the economy was allowed to slump as services and wages were cut. With no activity in the economy companies went bust and opportunities were scant. The government made a series if choices, all of which punished the bottom half of the population, the further down the pay chain you were, the harder the slap. Chikd povery is now at its highest levels in decades and youth unemployment is still above 20%. Homeless people are literally dying on our streets while the housing crisis is now a national emergency.

  • Croiteir

    Agreed that there was hardship and agreed it was the poorest, the bulk of the population, that suffered the most.

  • Zeno

    No Robin. Calling anyone sectarian is not playing the ball.
    Claiming that they are making loyalist attacks is not playing the ball.
    Calling people liars is not playing the ball.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It looks like 2016 will be the “Independents” Elections, it seems quite fitting.

  • Robin Keogh

    The problem is Zeno, if you constantly behave in a way that appears sectarian or if you spout untruths or if you continually remain quiet on the actions of one side when constantly attacking the other, it opens you up to such accusation as have been levelled.

  • Roger

    “Zeno said Ireland has “[l]ow business tax but high personal tax for high earners who pay paying 52%”. I basically agreed and said “Tax on personal income in Ireland is much higher than in the UK”. I can’t agree with you when you say “tax burden” is more relevant here. Zeno and I were very much speaking about taxes on income. In Ireland there is Income Tax, PRSI and USC, and perhaps a levy too, which are all taxes on income. Tax on personal income in Ireland is indeed much higher than in the UK.

  • Zeno

    Which untruths Robin?
    What actions of the other side Robin?
    What appears sectarian Robin?

  • Robin Keogh

    You recently declared that the security report released found that the PAC oversees SF policy. Thats an untruth. The report stated that members of the IRA believed the PAC had such influence. The authors themselves did not come to that conclusion.

    You claimed yesterday that a voter would hardly ask me about the IRA for fear of being shot, a shocking glib assertion, and a demonstrable untruth.

    You defend Unionist and Loyalist transgression by rarely if ever condemning them with the veracity you attack broad nationalism.
    Etc. Etc. I will let others add to the list, it is in no way exhaustive.

  • Zeno

    “The authors themselves did not come to that conclusion.”

    They did but they sugar coated the wording a little.
    “The IRA will play a key role in the election of the next SF Leader. …..The IRA’s role in influencing SF Policy and Strategy was highlighted in a report by the British Government this week” “The IRA believe they control SF”
    was softened to Members of the IRA believe….
    Sunday Times Oct 25. 4 pages of the report were released and 16 redacted.

    You claimed yesterday that a voter would hardly ask me about the IRA for fear of being shot,

    As someone said a disagreement these days with the IRA means getting beaten to death. They rarely shoot people. It looks bad. Members of SF and the IRA were involved in the death of Robert Mc Cartney.

    “You defend Unionist and Loyalist transgression by rarely if ever condemning them”

    When was this? Unlike some I condemn all terrorists and murderers.

  • Robin Keogh

    You are just proving my point

  • Zeno

    Sounds like you’re ducking this on Robin. I would if I was you.

  • Robin Keogh

    Well i suppose anything is possible in your world zeno

  • Croiteir

    You ignore the line by Zeno above that about the Republic being a right wing orientated country which believes in low taxation – if you take the post in its entirety I believe that my contribution is more valid. It is tax burden that matters. However if you wish to concentrate on only one aspect of the tax take fair enough.

  • Roger

    I was concentrating on the remark I replied to. That’s all.

  • Croiteir

    Tell me – didn’t going into a coalition after saying he wouldn’t wound Haughey to such an extent that he lost his position as leader?

  • Croiteir

    Yep – we know.

  • Jag

    Cast your mind back to the early 1990s and there were myriad reasons for CJ’s ultimate downfall. I’m sure Micheal will huff and puff and play hard to get next March, but mark my words, he will ultimately relent,