Tax me once, shame on you, tax me twice,

oh well, here you go.

G. Gurdgiev has a piece on the Air Travel Tax (ATT): … eport.html

He finishes with some comments that are interesting (to me anyway!):

This is something that rankles with me. I’ve paid tax on my income, yet I am subject to all manner of other transactional taxes when I try to use that income. Leaving aside VAT, excise duty and the like, think about CAT for a minute. I make a packet of money. I pay my taxes on it. I decide I want to give ten grand to someone who needs it. Either I have to pay tax on it for them or they have to pay tax on it. Where is the equity in that? What is the justification for it?

The justification I have read is that other countries charge a similar tax.

And as others have said, it is easily collected.

I’ve always felt that Irish retailers should follow the US example and mark their products in a way which makes it clear how much of each price goes to the state. As it is, most transactional taxes aren’t felt by the public in the same way as an honest and transparent reduction in their pay packe.

this is not the only place this happens - VRT in Ireland is double taxation as the VRT is charged on the base price +VAT.

( Or the other way round )

This is also true of any product attracting customs tariffs and/or excise duty.
VAT is calculated on base price + tariff + excise duty

Retailers are obliged by law in Ireland to show the price the customer pays.

But, I don’t think there would be anything to stop them showing the price the customer
would be paying were it not for VAT, Duty, Excise, VRT etc.

I suspect one of the reasons it has never happened is that retailers didn’t want to
piss off government. They like every other group were lobbying for what they wanted.
And in any case, Irish people didn’t seem to care how much things cost.

The other reason is that if you show the less tax price, and it’s still a lot higher
than say the North, then you’ve caused a problem for yourself, even if youre
higher prices are as a result of higher rates, rent, insurance etc.

Ultimately it comes down to this. The less you tell the consumer, the less trouble you’ll get into.

As for the airport tax, I have no problem with it.
It’s similar to the plastic bag tax. You tax things you don’t want people to do, in this
case Leaving the Country. Don’t know why it doesn’t apply to Ferries though.

Now what they should be doing is ringfencing the money raised to improve facilities for tourists,
and for Irish people who holiday at home. BUt that’d be too sensible.

I haven’t flown anywhere since it was introduced. I’ve checked ticket prices a few times, but
flying isn’t worth the hassle any more. I’ve been on two short breaks, one in the North, and I took
the Ferry to the UK.


I’d dispute whether that was the logic. I’d say it was more along the lines of taxing something that people are going to do anyway, to get a tenner off them.

Wow…England and Norn Iron. Trip of a lifetime. Id say the missus was delighted? :laughing:

She was.
There’s a reason why we’re not up to our ears in debt.


You’re right of course. I’m just saying why I have no real objections to it.
It’s notable that they only applied it to departing, not to arriving.

I do object to Road Tolls for the simple reason that they tax something you do want people to do.
Take a look at the new bridge in Waterford. Half a decade of calling for this bridge and nobody uses it.

Everytime I go to Waterford one of the common topics of conversation is how nobody is using the bridge.
I crossed it a while back and stopped for about 5 minutes chatting to the cashier before another car

And why? Becuase they are charging too much.
They should be trying to get people to use the bridge, but they hocked themselves to PPP.


You’re dead right. Sure what do them Greek Islands have that you cant get on the North Antrim coast? 8)

Do get back on topic…

I wonder if Gurdgiev (or you) have the same view of the pensions levy?

“No, of course not that’s different it’s to pay for your pensions don’t you know.”


Don’t know about him, but I don’t see that you are paying twice for your pensions. You are, however, getting two lots of tax relief (one on your employer pension scheme payments and one on your AVCs). As a self-employed person, I only have the equivalent of AVCs…

Anyway, wildly off topic. PM me or start a new thread if you wish to respond.

It’s interesting that you didn’t highlight the portion of text that I have just highlighted. The pension levy, the clue is in the name.

[mod edit: As I say, start a new thread if you want to, the point you make below is a good one as far as it goes, but is off-topic]

Those in the public service who don’t have pensions still have to pay the pensions levy. Now do you see how it’s analogous to what Gurdgiev is talking about?

Yes, yes, yes, back on topic. Which is the state taxing the same earnings more than once… so your labour (money) is multiply taxed before you can exchange it for goods (someone else’s labour).

Just on the travel tax, Ireland’s favourite airline have this to say!

Not like an economic consultancy could possibly be skewed to say something either way, they are paragons of virture after all but nevertheless!

I live in Canada where most prices displayed in shops are exclusive of taxes. While I agree that it would be nice to know how much of the total is going to the retailer and how much to the gub’ment, only displaying the price exclusive of tax (the usual practice) is just an almighty pain in the hole as you never know exactly what the final cost to you of the item is because the total price is somthing like (base_price X 4.5% X 5.5%).

A regular experience for me is:

  • Pick up item in shop noting price (say $7.22)
  • Use the time spent waiting in line to count out $7.22 in shrapnel
  • Item is scanned: “$8.12 s’il vous plait”
  • Sheepishly return $7.22 in shrapnel to pocket and pay with a $10 bill
  • Receive $2.88 in change

With all due respect, it’s not off topic. Gurdgiev’s complaint is this: “Not even in theory should the Government have a right to levy a tax that is so apparently ad hoc and serves solely the purpose of discriminating against one group of people (those undertaking overseas travel for personal or business reasons) in favor of generating cash revenue for general spending purposes.”

Yet this is as apt a description of the pensions levy (which, again, all in the public sector have to pay whether they have a contributory pension or not) as it is of the air tax. The fact that you and Gurdgiev (not to mention Michael O’Leary) are, apparently, in favour of the pensions levy but against the air tax merely shows that you are perfectly willing to endorse ad hoc taxes that discriminate against one group as a way of generating cash for general spending purposes when it suits you. In other words, the putative “principled stance” here is nothing of the sort.