‘’All tax and no spend government offering the worst of both worlds as faceless mandarins restore the bad old days’’ Leahy warning

RENUA Ireland leader cllr. John Leahy has warned that; ‘’the Government is turning into an all tax and no spend contradiction in terms.’’   

The RENUA Ireland leader said;

‘’Some-one is going to have to sound the alarm over the direction that fiscal policy in this country is taking.

The latest proposal by faceless mandarins in Finance that the government will raise €433 million by introducing a 43 per cent income tax rate for workers earning more than €80,000 a year is another example of how this government offers us the worst of all worlds.

Just like the 70’s they tax high and they spend low.

Increasing even further the tax paid by those who work hard to earn more than €80,000 a year is another attack on enterprise by book balancing bureaucrats.

It utterly fails to take into account that such families are paying hefty mortgages, unsubsidized childcare fees or third level fees.

There may be a defence on levying the rate only on earnings of more than €120,000 which would yield €280 million.

At the €80,000 income range it will be a greater dampener to enterprise and ambition than the current policy of imposing millionaire tax rates on those earning less than the average industrial wage.

In passing it should be noted that such a move would merely bring the top tax rate levied on PAYE workers into line with that paid by the self-employed, who currently pay a three-percentage-point universal social charge surcharge on incomes of €100,000 and more.

Increasingly working people in Ireland feel they would be better off on the dole where they would be cherished and valued by the state instead of being garnished by the state.

Given the current context who would blame them’’.


RENUA Ireland leader cllr. John Leahy has said that; ‘’the closure of the small village of Pullough’s Post Office is a story of our time for rural Ireland’’.

The RENUA Ireland leader said

‘’Devery’s Post Office has given so much service to the people of the area for years. Now it is about to become another statistic; another service stripped away from Rural Ireland.

Bean-counters and bureaucrats will be happy with the closure of Devery’s. It will cleanse their ledgers.

They know too that public outrage will dissipate after a few days.


Every Rural Representative knows the value of a Rural Post Office.

It is time however to move from soft compliments to pragmatic actions.

The many incentives to have payments such as welfare and pensions paid directly into recipient’s bank account represents the bureaucrats closure of post offices by stealth.

A business needs footfall and areas such as Pullough has seen very little population growth over the last 20 years.

Pullough is not unique so why nationally is there not a greater effort to protect Rural Communities and services – we pay taxes as well.

I have witnessed and worked with a small group of volunteers who stood up and lead the way in establishing a Community based shop in Pullough which celebrated its first anniversary in July this year.

This was a massive Community project with the objective of keeping a vital service in the Community alive.

It is completely devastating for the Community after jumping one hurdle only to be faced with another knock back.

It is just another slap in the face from anonymous bureaucrats.

Ordinary hard-working volunteers can’t always be the primary leaders in a Community.

There needs to be greater intervention by the state to give people hope and pride in the Communities they live in.

The closure of Devery’s Post Office in Pollough is another example of how the lights are being turned off in rural Ireland by bureaucrats and politicians.

The Post Office is in many areas of rural Ireland the last heartbeat of the rural village.

This is something indifferent bean counters in Dublin and Dublin 4 ministers cannot understand.

We understand the consequences of a scenario where the rural post office will soon be as rare as the corncrake.

And we will community by community fight it.

It is time for new solutions rather than the current Pilate style washing of hands.

We should consider solutions like giving the post office a central role in elder care in areas like meals on wheels and social infrastructure generally.

Let’s use our infrastructure not bin it’’

No more taxes on working people please Mr Donohoe … PRSI is the new USC

RENUA Ireland leader cllr. John Leahy has warned Paschal Donohoe that; ‘’his Departments secret plans to impose further tax increases on working people is unacceptable’’

Mr Leahy said;

‘’This government is providing us with a case study in the reason Donald Trump was elected in America.

It’s proposals on PRSI indicate that the Finance Minister is not in control of his own Department.

The notion that working people should have a further increase of 0.5% in PRSI defies credibility

This is the economics of Alice in Wonderland.

It is a complete denial of the reality that more working people in Ireland than any other European state are taxed like the super-rich.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe needs to challenge the culture of his Department.

It is clear this culture is anti-enterprise, hostile to the self-employed and indifferent to the needs of small start-up companies.

Nothing epitomizes this more than the treatment of the self-employed when it comes to PRSI.

This has evolved into a stealth tax as distinct to a protector of working people.

It is the new USC in disguise which treats the self-employed like a fiscal colony.

Mr Donohoe should gather his courage into his trembling hands and say ‘no more taxes please’ because if he does not the people may soon say ‘no more Paschal’ please’’.


RENUA Ireland leader cllr. John Leahy has called on Leo Varadkar to move swiftly to fulfil his promise to build a new and more mature relationship between the Catholic Church and the Irish State.

Mr Leahy said;

‘’Mr Varadkar’s words are welcome and we hope they are more than words.

Since this man took office Catholics have felt like an oppressed minority.

Many are now, for the first time since the Penal Days, afraid to disclose their Catholicism to friends and employers.

The Phoenix Park mass indicates how deep the roots of faith are.

That faith, the faith of the people not prelates, should be respected.

Instead, for political convenience, Mr Varadkar has turned the church into a scapegoat for disgraces all society are guilty of.

There can be no doubt the church has committed grave sins.

The Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, industrial schools, illegal adoptions and clerical child abuse are stains on the church that no amount of apologies can erase.

We should also though be clear that the state colluded in keeping people in dark corners, behind closed doors and cries of help that went unheard.

And the state, too often still, when it comes to the abuse of citizens and children plays a similar role.

The current attack on the church for historical sins sits ill when coming from the lips of an administration that stands idly by, makes false promises and pretends it does not know about current scandals such as Cervical Check.

Mr Varadkar is correct in saying there can only be zero tolerance for those who abuse innocent children or who facilitate the abuse.

But that must apply to every-one and every institution of the state.

We are a changing state and a warmer more understanding country.

Tolerance however cuts both ways.

The fundamentalist style rage with which the church is being excised from communities, hospitals and schools by a Dublin based elite suggests that this is not the mood of Mr Varadkar.

The church has committed many sins, but the punishment should be visited upon the faithful.

Those who have faith do not only feel excluded and alienated from the Church.

They also feel excluded from a state which treats them as the enemy within.

It’s time Mr Varadkar practised what he preaches and engages in real dialogue with the church and those who remain within the faith.

Only then can we rebuild a genuine Concordat that will allow both the state and church to thrive … independently’’.


RENUA Ireland leader Cllr. John Leahy has expressed grave concerns over the states secret plan to excise the church from primary schools.

Mr Leahy said;

‘’It is time to sound the alert to protect Faith based primary schools in Ireland.

I am a pluralist and RENUA Ireland is a party that believes in diversity of choice.

Pluralism though cuts both ways.

I am gravely concerned that a secret plan now exists in the higher echelons of the Department of Education to excise Faith Schools from the educational landscape.

We view with the gravest concern plans to devolve and examine school patronage in some gerrymandered Citizens Assembly.

RENUA Ireland wishes to make it clear that we will fight within our communities to fight for the retention of Catholic Schools against any attack by a Dublin 4 set of sectarian secularists.

Aodhan O’Riordan does not have the right to determine how the people of rural Ireland educate our children.

School, particularly primary school is about more than exam results.

It is about developing character and moral formation.

It is also about protecting children from the dangers and threats posed by an uncontrolled digital landscape.

Parents across rural Ireland want to protect their Catholic Schools.

We value their role within the community both educationally and in preparing children for key steps in our children’s lives such as confirmation and communion.

In an increasingly uncertain world the Faith school provides our children with an architecture of values.

The last thing we now need is a new unaccountable Sectarian Secularist HSE for schools

RENUA Ireland will lead the way in fighting such a process’’.


Renua Ireland leader Cllr. John Leahy has warned Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to; ‘’tread cautiously when it comes to any restoration of the 13.5% rate of VAT’’. 

The RENUA Ireland leader said;

‘’One size fits all rates of tax rarely work.

The thriving state of Ireland’s hospitality industry is evidential proof of how when it comes to enterprise and job creation there is no such thing as a bad tax cut.

When it comes to VAT on tourism and hospitality RENUA Ireland concedes that there is space to examine the necessity of retaining this cut in Dublin.

However, tourism and hospitality across large swathes of the countryside are struggling to thrive.

These nascent employers and enterprises do not need the handicap of a higher tax rate than their European competitors.

Those mandarins who would loftily dismiss the 9% rate as deadweight should visit the thousands of green shoot rural enterprises engaged in tourism and ask them and their hard-working employees for their views.

Restoring the 13.5% across the country-side would represent an attack on rural enterprise.

The government should ignore the strange alliance of ICTU and the Department of Finance who seem to believe all SME owners are millionaires and hasten carefully on this issue.

On this occasion instead of seeking brownie points from Patricia King they should look before they leap and commission a report specifically on the impact on rural enterprise and community building’’.


Renua Ireland leader has welcomed indications that the government has; ‘’finally caught up on the RENUA Ireland tax learning curve’’.

Mr Leahy was responding to indications that the government is in the autumn budget planning to increase the income level at which earners become liable to the higher 40 per cent income tax rate.

The RENUA Ireland leader said;

‘’Up to now this government, when it comes to tax reform would not win a slow bicycle race.

RENUA Ireland welcomes its belated recognition that real tax reform is lower tax for working people.

We are surprised that it has been so difficult for Paschal Donohoe to understand the need for such reform.

We didn’t need a strategy group to tell us Irish workers amongst those who get up early in the morning are taxed like millionaires at far too low a rate.

We also warn the minister it is time for him to stop taking baby steps towards creating an earned income tax credit, to provide the self-employed with a benefit equal to the €1,650 PAYE tax credit.

Mr Donohoe should take his courage in his hands and, in one great leap, increase the current rate of €1,150 to the same level as the PAYE credit over a single budget.

Billions of Euros have been taken out of the pockets of working people to pay for the crimes of banking billionaires.

Paschal, this budget is payback time of a modest sort for the early risers Leo cares so much about.

Working people don’t just deserve a Christmas bonus.

They deserve a fifty-two weeks of the year bonus.

Now that your experts in the tax strategy group have told you to do this we expect you to deliver’’.


RENUA Ireland leader Cllr. John Leahy has slammed the Independent Alliance’s ‘Grandparent and Grandchild Expenses Reimbursement Scheme’ as being; ‘’nothing more than another example of Stepaside style stroke politics by Shane Ross’’.

Mr Leahy said

‘’RENUA Ireland firmly supports the concept of proper state support and pay for grand-parents who look after children.

Their unpaid work binds families together and saves the Exchequer serious money.

That is why this political scam is an utter disgrace.

It is back of a beermat politics which quite obviously has not been thought out.

Grandparents deserve far more than a thousand Euros a year for such work.

They also deserve a far more comprehensively evolved scheme than one which ill obviously fall at the first hurdle once it is grabbed by the mandarins in the Department of Social Protection.

RENUA Ireland warns grand-parents now that all that glitters is not gold and that there is nothing glamorous about this current imaginary scheme’’.



RENUA Ireland leader Cllr. John Leahy has expressed grave concerns over; ‘’the apparent determination of Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty to abolish child benefit by stealth’’.

Mr Leahy was commenting on the view by government that; ‘’targeting increases at certain groups might be more efficient than generalised increases in welfare rates.’’.

Mr Leahy said;

‘’In a scenario where parents of children have not received child benefit increases in two years this view has to be a source of serious concerns.

We all know what ‘targeted increases’ mean for those who get up early to go to work.

RENUA Ireland notes that the government is apparently planning to increase the rate of payment which social welfare recipients receive when they have children.

We are not ideologically opposed to this.

But we would like to know why, if social welfare parents receive increases, struggling working families once again receive nothing.

This is part of a pattern of ongoing behaviour by Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone which has consistently prioritized parents on social welfare over the needs of low and middle-income parents.

This latest statement is an attempt to soften the ground where over time child benefit for middle income parents will be abolished by stealth.

RENUA Ireland is calling stop now to this process and demanding that the Minister move now to reassure the working parents of young children that she has their back.

Otherwise we can only assume that for unsaid ideological reasons Ms Doherty is planning to abolish child benefit for working parents by stealth. ’’


RENUA Ireland leader Cllr. John Leahy has warned that ‘’free education is now a myth for hard pressed working parents’’.

The RENUA Ireland leader said

‘’Irish governance must respond to the scenario where working parents will shortly fall into debt to cover back-to-school costs.

It is a source of grave concern that a recent annual school-costs survey commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions indicates that parents are now spending on average of €999 per primary school child and €1,379 per secondary school pupil.

It is appalling to hear that more than a third of parents are taking out loans to meet the costs and that the level of indebtedness is increasing.

It is indicative of how thinly the boom is being experienced that parents are now going to money-lenders to keep their children in new shoes and crested uniforms.

Truly the dream of free primary and secondary education has turned into a myth under a government that won’t even pay schools enough capitation to keep students warm.

We are in this regard only one step away from the days when children had to bring a sod of turf to the school each.

The Government has a moral duty to alleviate the scenario where parents associate the return to school with the knock of the local money-lender.

It may be hard for Ministers to realize but a thousand Euros a child is a real imposition on after tax income.

Irelands education system is now worse than the era prior to Donagh O’Malley in the sixties.

Not only has free secondary education collapsed but it now costs as much to send a child to primary school as to college.

The government should move now to restore the primacy of the concept of freedom for education for all.

Parents deserve a new fair deal and they require it swiftly’’.