Just An Observation


I am not going to waffle on about all the ins and outs of Ireland's "Recovery" Budget plan, because that will be done to death in the papers and on other websites today I figure. Plus the ramblings here are of a mad man, so it isn't like anybody would listen or find pearls of wisdom.

But, I've read through the big old "plan", as they like to call it, and one thing is standing out that I find odd.

They say that if you don't learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them.

Now, if I recall correctly (which I generally do with this stupid soup of a mind) a few Budgets back the "leaders" thought that a good way to generate revenue was to raise the rate of V.A.T by a half percent.

One half percent. Going from 21% to 21.5%.

Huge jump, right? Well not really. Except that for a long time Ireland has been called "The Rip-off Republic" and a jump of half a percent in prices, when everyone was loosing money hand over fist, was a big deal. Now, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you could avoid a lot of this by buying online. But only a crazy person would buy food online (aside from ordering take-away of course).

Queue The North. Due to the wonders of having a different body of governance on the same small island people had choice. They could continue to fill the coffers of a corrupt regime or they could drive an hour (from Dublin at least) up the road and buy the same goods but at less cost. Then the British Government decided that to get out of a recession you have to promote spending, so they cut their V.A.T to 17.5%, making shit even cheaper in The North.

Basically, the gist of that ramble, is that a half percent hike in V.A.T here meant that a lot of the country started to buy things up the road because everything was cheaper and had just been made cheaper still.

Sure you can call them traitors, but I was one of them and in a day when money is tighter than a Jew's arse you make your savings however you can.

The result of this shopping exodus? A few months later The Brians realised that they had messed up and said they were going back to the old 21% rate. They also had a soundbite on the radio trying to convince people that it was cheaper to shop in the Republic, when you factor in petrol costs.

You can lead an idiot to the chopping block but you can't make him put his head on it. The exodus continued.

Anyway, I would have figured that was a lesson learned. If you take money from people and make shit more expensive you are damaging your economy. It means more saving being done, less spending, more out of country shopping.

So I was surprised, shocked, neigh fucking amazed, to read that by 2014 Ireland will have a V.A.T rate of 23%. Coupled with more taxes and all that, this means shit just got more expensive and people have less money to spend. I'm actually having déjà vu typing this. The plan that failed miserably with a tiny half percent increase has been brought back in, but with a full two percent increase.

The mind, she boggles.

Now, this "great idea" was countered with the fact that in 2011 the U.K. is raising the V.A.T rate. So people won't go shopping up North, why would you. With a higher V.A.T. rate you'd be better off buying something with the 23% added on.

Except the U.K. rate is going up to ... 20%. Twenty fucking percent.

So, when, in roughly two years time, Ireland says that sales have plummeted and retail stores are closing and the Government is baffled as to what the cause is, while Newry is building shops made from melted down euro coins because they can't change it back into sterling fast enough, just remember this rant.

Then again, with an election coming up I very much doubt that the current headless chickens (the Greens included the unmitigated spineless shits) will have any say in the running of things.

That might be praying and hoping that the public have common sense, but I figure we do :)


Tags: rant

daryl | Thu, 25 Nov 10 10:44:53 +0000

UK VAT was cut to 15% FROM 17.5%, which it is back to now, so the gap was really wide for a while.

Albertw | Thu, 25 Nov 10 11:14:55 +0000

Factoring in petrol and wasting a day going up offsets the vat. Mind you the price diff is wider thanks mainly to the continuing rip off and markups here. I go up one or twice a year but would not consider it for normal grocery shopping.

Another thing about the north... Unions here are shunting today about us being back in the stone age with lowering the minimum wage and cutting dole. Have a look at the dole payments and pensions and minimum wage up north. And last time I was in Jewry I didn't notice starving stone age hordes wandering about. Turns out Bertie was a socialist after all...

blue_jester | Thu, 25 Nov 10 11:20:58 +0000

@daryl: Thanks for that, thought my figures were wrong but couldn't find a proper source online.

@albertw: It is true that factoring in petrol would add to the cost of the overall trip but in the last month I spent 160 euro in a store here and 160 (which was the petrol and shopping combined) up North and the result trolley load was vastly different. Although I do have a reason for a monthly trip I suppose, aside from savings.

..... | Fri, 26 Nov 10 19:12:55 +0000


I'm aware I'm missing the bigger issue here.

I apologise.

blue_jester | Mon, 29 Nov 10 09:53:29 +0000

Oh you missed the point completely, the word was purposely used incorrectly since the rant was about shopping :P

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