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Monday, April 27, 2009 

Shane Brett, Dim Bulb

WorldbyStorm over at the Cedar Lounge Revolution brought to the grateful attention of the online public the following letter in the Irish Times, which appeared last Friday 24th April;
Madam, – My wife and I have left Ireland and moved to London – not because I couldn’t get work (we had a good salary between us – both with degrees and in our early 30s), but because we were not prepared to struggle for the rest of our (comparative) youth under a punishing tax regime while public services collapsed and the public sector remained untouched. I am old enough to remember most of the 1980s and I do not want to bring my children up in the same horrendous economic environment.

Ireland’s economic situation is being closely watched here and no one understands why the public sector is immune. Here in the UK the public sector faces job cuts when the economy declines – just like the private sector.

I’ll be back to Ireland when the place sorts itself out, although I’m not hopeful – the basic lesson that you can’t tax your way out of a recession has simply not been learned.

We need a new Thatcherite political figure to stand up to the unions and the cossetted sections of the Irish economy. The view from here is that this person is coming – and his name is the IMF. – Yours, etc,


Charville Court,

Trafalgar Grove,



Well, well, well. Doing a little digging on our free-market hero shows him to be "Assistant Vice President at Daiwa Securities", which is - surprise! - an investment bank with offices in both Dublin and London. Wouldn't it be a great disappointment if our new-found bestest friend was merely changing offices within the same firm. Alas, the sacrifices which principle calls on us to make...

Alas, though! Because that Thatcherite paradise, the UK, has just announced a new, 50% top rate of tax. As Guido Fawkes notes:
Guido isn’t going to do much on the budget, the FT is probably the best place to go for coverage. As soon as the 50% tax hike was announced emails pinged into the inbox along the lines of “That’s it, I’m off to Switzerland”. What is Labour saying to those who work hard and become successful? “We will punish you” seems to be the message.

Good news for Dublin and Dubai. They will welcome entrepreneurs with lower tax rates and open arms. Guido would not be surprised if this measure ends up reducing revenues as people flee penal tax rates.

What now for Mr. Brett and Spouse? It seems that going Galt may be the only ethical recourse left. Can the European economy possibly survive the loss of two such talented and useful individuals?

Update 28/04/09 Shane Brett has appeared in the comments to this post, and has made a number of arguments (which I've responded to therein). I am relieved to clarify that Mr. Brett is not merely moving between two branches of Daiwa, having apparently ceased working there.

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"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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