When Irish smiles are eyeing ... pensions.
Which thumb do you want, in which of your eyes?
There are not enough prosperous businesses to tax. Houses sit empty. Even government can't hire enough of the population to keep people off the dole. Where does The State turn for revenue?
In a move many distinguished paranoid conspiracy theorists predict will soon be standard operating procedure in the United States, the Irish government has shown the way. It has found its shamrock: private pension plans.
From An Roinn Airgeadais -- Ireland's Department of Finance to the non-Gaelic among us -- comes this announcement:
The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans. I propose that the levy will apply at a rate of 0.6% to the capital value of assets under management in pension funds established in the State.
It will apply for a period of 4 years commencing this year and is intended to raise about €470 million in each of those years. The levy will not apply to pension funds established here and providing services and benefits solely to non-resident employers and members. Further details regarding the proposed application of the levy are set out in the Summary of Initiative Measures.