One long-term agenda of Fine Gael, gone along with by Fianna Fail and the Green Party, is to increase the qualification age that an average person must reach before they gain their state pension.
The stark facts are these. It takes on average five people to contribute in tax over a lifetime, to help pay for the state pension for one person in the further future. Because of a number of dramatic factors including Ireland people leaving the country for good, it’s currently estimated that the country might be left with just two taxpaying people later left to contribute to the filling of a pension of a later single pension. It’s therefore very clear that this is a right dangerous strain in the national finances as a whole and on individual taxpayers.
The Fine Gael solution is to increase the qualification age. At first, this appears to be a simple application of a possible solution. However, two factors straight away kick in that might oppose this.
1. It’s totally reliant upon the ages of all – and even then, when all reach the later qualification age, those still alive will remain so for (hopefully) some time to come. This being the case, the number of elderly will increase in number while the number of less elderly (the younger taxpayers) could continue to decline on the opposite side of the qualification age.
2. Although Fine Gael thinks that people will live longer and thus be able to work for longer, they (deliberately and quietly?) dismiss the physical fact that a growing older person is far more prone to accident and quite frankly, more infirm, more bone brittle, possess less physical strength and of far longer recovery period should they fall ill! In short – they might live longer but their physical ability to actually do an average, same job as a young or even middle-aged person, is of lesser possibility.
While the Fine Gael party continues to remain narrow-minded about all this – like a horse deliberately wearing blinkers – and appear to focus on physical age rather than take into account other mitigating factors, they also (deliberately) decline to also focus on a major factor in all this. Namely, where the tax money is coming from, in order to pay for state pensions!
Take for example, the company Apple. Last year the American founded company got a state write-off of 12 BILLION Euro – and that’s only one company. Other huge companies including Google, Microsoft, Starbucks and more, are getting similar treatment. In short, all this slipping away possible revenue, could – should – be more targeted for collection by the state – rather than be allowed to annually slip away though various quiet tax avoidance rackets (that have often been come up with, between the big companies and elected representatives over secret meetings and quiet lunches).
It’s very obvious that future government must be willing to readdress a clear issue that has been long put off, if only to contributory help resolve a current pension crises looming and quite frankly, other financial matters such as funding for state projects including national building and infrastructure needed agendas.
It’s very obvious that Fine Gael (who is regularly judged as sucking up to big business), Fianna Fail along with the Green Party, turning a blind eye or remaining too silent, are all unwilling to readdress the still ongoing, mass corporation tax loss issue. Their excuse in part is that of they do, these businesses will pull out of Ireland. To be fair, that might be factor for some of them but (a) if the state is not gaining anything from them in tax take anyway, only burn though of environmental factors or advantageous manpower, and (b) what is overall lost in tax take than what in minimum gained in employment output, then the state – a government of the day – seriously needs to re-look at a big financial picture beyond the age of pension qualification and seek greater financial amounts from elsewhere, to help resolve that matter – and others too!
Final note: I simplify to some extent, some of the matters discussed above. There is more complexity to the whole issue – but the point of this post, is to (a) draw attention to matters that clearly need to have greater re-inspection and (b) have it done by those more willing to do it. Decades of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail rule has exposed that they are not seriously willing to – as much as they might make out in PR effort for election time or to RTE news microphones all year around.