2018-03-01 16:25:00 -


Shadow economy undermines Ireland’s future

We have a significant number of non-contributing grey and black market workers and businesses working off-the-grid in the country. We as a nation will not derive any benefit from them in increasing the State’s income to provide better public services. 

They will have to work until they drop dead because they have made no returns. They cannot get welfare or sickness benefits in hard times because they lack the proper paperwork, and know they will be investigated by Revenue if they dare go near a State office. At the same time, they may employ people who think their taxes are going back to the Government, when in actual fact they are defrauding their employees and the State.

The issue is very prevalent in the agricultural sector, where you are not likely to find many payslips around milking parlours, hay barns or tractors. A significant number of the self-employed, too, fail to make returns or are very delinquent in doing so.

I’m thinking of the pervasive bogus self-employed who are receiving large monthly expense cheques, which are really wages, while being de facto employees of companies. Directors of companies may also receive bursaries and emoluments registered under pseudonyms and other mechanisms for evading tax.

Some casual workers may think they are being clever getting paid cash in hand, or working for employers they know or suspect may not be paying Revenue for what they take out of their wages — but they will lose heavily in the long run.

These off-the-gird workers will have to work long into what should be their retirement, all for the sake of making a contribution. They believe in the double economy and are happy to see others pay, while they remain in dark corners slipping and sliding to avoid the radar.

With Brexit coming, everybody will have to pay their fair share if this nation is going to survive. Those who do not contribute are no good to the economy, and fooling themselves in the long run. They will get nothing in the evening of their lives.

It is high time we got rid of the shadow economy in all its forms and legitimised everyone’s employment. We cannot have one class paying their dues while the other give themselves a pass. Those who do not contribute disfranchise themselves and weaken the country.

Maurice Fitzgerald 

Shanbally, Co Cork

Shooting event could be imported from the USA

As the Florida high school shooting fade into a cordite-infused background, it is s fair question to ask: can it only be a matter of time before a USA-inspired firearm flexing event happens in Ireland? Played out by a member of the Irish firearm-owning community who decides they are not going to take it anymore?

Death and injury will flow from this event should it come to pass. Then when it is all over, the air will be thick with calls of ‘Why did we not see this coming?’ when in fact the signs were already there.

Constant exposure to animals and birds being abused destroys the viewer’s moral barrier. Those who hunt and kill animals for recreation are a visible viable danger to society. People who are violent towards animals rarely stop there.

A debate needs to take place into the need for the existence of any activity that involves the hunting down and killing of animals and birds. Such activities cloak a sickness and an evil virus that is part of the ecosystem that hosts events like high-school shootings and regards students as living targets.

John Tierney 

campaigns director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs

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