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July 2003 Archives

Cost of Benchmarking

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I am tired of seeing statements to the effect that the cost of benchmarking is €1 billion or so. It is not a once-off investment as it will recur and grow year-on-year. The cost will be about €25 billion over the next twenty years when inflation and pension increases are taken into account. On this basis, benchmarking will absorb over one-tenth of all income taxes to be collected mainly from the unsheltered, unbenchmarked private sector. Time for a wake-up call?

National Pension Reserve Fund

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I have some queries about the National Pension Reserve Fund which should be answered before another cent is invested in it. This Fund stands to absorb huge tax resources over the coming years. The 20 plus billion euro (at current prices) yet to be invested would equate to the total income tax take by the Exchequer for two full years.

1. Why is the State investing in overseas companies and funds at the same time as it is raising taxes, engaging in borrowing, cutting essential services and urgently needs funds for internal investment?

2. Given that the Fund will accumulate reserves to contribute to future pensions for social welfare recipients and public servants (and politicians), what is the planned split between these two groups?

3. How equitable will this split be given that every taxpayer and consumer contributes to the Fund?

Letter published in the Irish Times on 25th July 2003.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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