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Thread: Milk

  1. #1
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    Default Milk

    Can farm families afford to educate their children ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Milk

    complicated one

    Remember that line from Michael D I posted a while back

    Opposition to a wealth tax is not to the yield but to what it would reveal
    That is also at the root here me thinks. I believe education should be available to all.
    Plenty of hard pressed farmers like every one else but there is most definitely a sense they are being used as cover here.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Can farm families afford to educate their children ?
    It all depends on what income they have coming in. Something that should be readily enough known as their produce goes through official channels and they have to submit Farm Accounts to the revenue. I'm sure there are ways to play down earnings, but in the round everything they earn should be visible. I was told years ago by the missus of wealthy farmers from her area who had medical cards, and I do get the feeling that there's still a fair bit of political clout used to get things like medical cards for some wealthy enough farmers when their lifestyles would indicate that they're well above the income limits. It's how the politicians keep the rural vote, some of those country boys know exactly how to fleece the system and it's not stupidity, but rather cuteness that has them and their families voting for their local Mr Fixit TDs.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Milk

    Avoidance of scrutiny is key.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    It all depends on what income they have coming in. Something that should be readily enough known as their produce goes through official channels and they have to submit Farm Accounts to the revenue. I'm sure there are ways to play down earnings, but in the round everything they earn should be visible. I was told years ago by the missus of wealthy farmers from her area who had medical cards, and I do get the feeling that there's still a fair bit of political clout used to get things like medical cards for some wealthy enough farmers when their lifestyles would indicate that they're well above the income limits. It's how the politicians keep the rural vote, some of those country boys know exactly how to fleece the system and it's not stupidity, but rather cuteness that has them and their families voting for their local Mr Fixit TDs.

    Didn't take long for the stereotype of the cute culchie on the make to put in an appearance.

    Farmers are in the same position as other business owners when it comes to means tests in that they can manipulate their earnings for the years that are assessed. Even nice Dublin 4 types can do the same thing.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Milk

    Medical cards for all.

    In theory, happening.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Medical cards for all.

    In theory, happening.
    Elaborate please.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Biffo View Post
    Didn't take long for the stereotype of the cute culchie on the make to put in an appearance.

    Farmers are in the same position as other business owners when it comes to means tests in that they can manipulate their earnings for the years that are assessed. Even nice Dublin 4 types can do the same thing.
    Didn't take long for you to start on the deefers.

    I've seen myself how SOME people with big farms have abused the system over the years by using their local politicians to pull strings for them. Just because other business people do it doesn't excuse it, and it's all reducing the pot of money available for genuine hard cases.

    Try asking a farmer how much land they have, or how many cattle they have, there's a reason they keep schtum.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    Didn't take long for you to start on the deefers.

    I've seen myself how SOME people with big farms have abused the system over the years by using their local politicians to pull strings for them. Just because other business people do it doesn't excuse it, and it's all reducing the pot of money available for genuine hard cases.

    Try asking a farmer how much land they have, or how many cattle they have, there's a reason they keep schtum.
    Try asking a stockbroker or an optician or a restaurant owner what their assets are and they probably won't rush to let you see the books.

    There's a problem with means tests that means that the self employed can manipulate them and PAYE workers are at a huge disadvantage. Trying to use that to push an anti-rural bias doesn't help anyone except those who want to maintain the unfair system.

    If we want to end the abuse we need to test income over a period of say, 5 years, for all self employed. That would make it very much more difficult to stroke the books.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    It all depends on what income they have coming in. Something that should be readily enough known as their produce goes through official channels and they have to submit Farm Accounts to the revenue. I'm sure there are ways to play down earnings, but in the round everything they earn should be visible. I was told years ago by the missus of wealthy farmers from her area who had medical cards, and I do get the feeling that there's still a fair bit of political clout used to get things like medical cards for some wealthy enough farmers when their lifestyles would indicate that they're well above the income limits. It's how the politicians keep the rural vote, some of those country boys know exactly how to fleece the system and it's not stupidity, but rather cuteness that has them and their families voting for their local Mr Fixit TDs.

    Accountants can be creative when it comes to doing the books for the farmers and can do it by a variety of legal means. Expenses and depcreciation especially of farming equipment can vastly reduce the amount of tax paid by a farmer. Farming is no longer a lucrative career as it once was now that there is subsidies given not to produce a certain type of produce. The consumer confidence in the wake of the horse gate has will also drive profits down and the job losses compound this further so profits will be even worse. That just how I see it!
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by fluffybiscuits View Post
    Accountants can be creative when it comes to doing the books for the farmers and can do it by a variety of legal means. Expenses and depcreciation especially of farming equipment can vastly reduce the amount of tax paid by a farmer.
    Exactly the same thing happens for any other business. This isn't a 'Farmers are evil' story, it's a bad system story.


    Quote Originally Posted by fluffybiscuits View Post
    Farming is no longer a lucrative career as it once was now that there is subsidies given not to produce a certain type of produce. The consumer confidence in the wake of the horse gate has will also drive profits down and the job losses compound this further so profits will be even worse. That just how I see it!
    It wasn't farmers who were passing off horse as beef, it was greedy businesses.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Biffo View Post
    Exactly the same thing happens for any other business. This isn't a 'Farmers are evil' story, it's a bad system story.




    It wasn't farmers who were passing off horse as beef, it was greedy businesses.
    I know I agree with you, its a widespread practice!

    On the point about the beef it was big business but people a lot fo the time telling me they are going vegetarian (which I dont believe for one minute!)
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Biffo View Post
    Try asking a stockbroker or an optician or a restaurant owner what their assets are and they probably won't rush to let you see the books.

    There's a problem with means tests that means that the self employed can manipulate them and PAYE workers are at a huge disadvantage. Trying to use that to push an anti-rural bias doesn't help anyone except those who want to maintain the unfair system.

    If we want to end the abuse we need to test income over a period of say, 5 years, for all self employed. That would make it very much more difficult to stroke the books.
    I don't have an anti-rural bias, I live in rural Ireland, understand the lack of services, and spent a good part of my childhood farming and am quite well aware of how little there is to be made on the average farm and the hoops that have to be gone through to get that income. A small farm income is merely a top up to someone working and paying PAYE and not a living in itself.

    But there was an archetypal medium sized farm owning cute-hoor type who got everything going by going to their local TD to get it. Those days may have passed, but I doubt it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    It all depends on what income they have coming in. Something that should be readily enough known as their produce goes through official channels and they have to submit Farm Accounts to the revenue. I'm sure there are ways to play down earnings, but in the round everything they earn should be visible. I was told years ago by the missus of wealthy farmers from her area who had medical cards, and I do get the feeling that there's still a fair bit of political clout used to get things like medical cards for some wealthy enough farmers when their lifestyles would indicate that they're well above the income limits. It's how the politicians keep the rural vote, some of those country boys know exactly how to fleece the system and it's not stupidity, but rather cuteness that has them and their families voting for their local Mr Fixit TDs.
    That has been going on for generations and the Mr. Fixit gombeens you referred to see it as their function to ensure a smooth distribution of tax from Ballyfermot to Ballydehob. But the point has been made that the professional classes have the means to fleece the system too. I am all in favour of a fair taxation system and it should be based on the principle that everybody pays, even if some get a net positive balance after tax credits.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Milk

    The only people making big profits from milk are the supermarkets who pay a tiny fraction of the retail price to the dairy farmers.

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