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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 25 January, 2020

14 new taxes that would solve Ireland's problems

AKA The People’s Real Budget.

HOW ARE WE going to balance the national books? Simple. Tax these things, and our financial worries are over:


Source: dbfitspiration

The truly insufferable thing about #cleaneats is the word ‘clean’. This is no mere healthy food. It is not simply ‘good for you’. No, this is food has somehow attained the moral high ground. Food that looks down its nose at other food and goes ‘ew, mucky’. Food whose only source of pleasure is the feeling of smug superiority you get when you eat it.

Sorry, pal, but you’re paying for that. Same goes for #fitfam and hell, while we’re at it, #blessed.

Every use of #cleaneats: €1 tax. Approx annual revenue: €400,000.

2. Second goes on the ATM

Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

All you need is €20 to pay for lunch. But in front of you is some numpty who is trying to pay their rent, refinance their car and buy their nephew phone credit. They’ve put the card back in three times now and you’ve been waiting so long you’ve had to shave twice.

Every second go on the ATM: it automatically takes a €20 out of the cash it gives you and donates it to Temple Street. Approx annual revenue: €240,000.

3. “I’m fine”

Source: Francisco Osorio

You’re not fine. Nothing is fine. Something is wrong and I don’t know what but you’re probably mad at me.

While you’re stonewalling me on this, you could at least help to finance our roads and schools.

Each use of ‘I’m fine’ by an Irish resident who is not fine: €2 tax. Approx annual revenue: €1,000,000.

4. Any food not served on plates

Source: @WeWantPlates

This is a fair and equitable measure. For people who want their chips served in a novelty miniature shopping trolley, there will be a 20 per cent surcharge. The rest of us can get on with using our round ceramic food-holders, as we did in centuries previous.

Approx annual revenue from the ‘Building Materials Are Not Plates’ measure: €150,000.

5. Eurocycles Eurobaby radio ads

Source: Firstcom Productions/YouTube

100% tax on all sales resulting from these ads.

Approx annual revenue: €50,000.

6. The ‘crying laughing’ emoji


Or is it maybe just something pretty ordinary that happened during your day?

If so, perhaps you will find another emoji more suitable. If not – if the crying laughing emoji is truly warranted – by all means continue to use it with a small charge.

Every use of ‘crying laughing’ emoji 50c, rising to €2 for double usage and €5 for anything with four or more in a row.

Approx annual revenue from Irish users: €5,000,000.

7. 1c change

Source: fairlybuoyant

The eternal dilemma: do you wait expectantly for your 1c change like an asshole, or walk away and leave it at the counter like an asshole? Or – a third way – wait, then showily put it in the charity box, like an asshole?

End this scenario for all Irish people by simply auto-collecting every instance of 1c change and using it to fund the Late Late Show. (If this means all guests have to be sourced from within the corridors of RTE, well… yeah.)

Approx annual revenue: exactly the budget of the new, lean, revamped Late Late Show

8. Man buns

Source: PA Wire

This is simply a revenue-raising measure. From January 2016, every owner of a man bun must register with An Post and pay a €150 annual licence fee.

Approx annual revenue: €375,000.

9. Inspirational quotes

Source: Livin3

Every time your aunt/mam’s friend/racist mate from home posts one of these, their Facebook account will automatically bill them €0.75. Truly, it is a small price to pay for the wondrous wisdom contained in the words of Gandhi and Marilyn Monroe.

Approx annual revenue: €11,000,000

10. Sending multiple Whatsapps when one would do

Source: @mo2o20n


how’s it going?

I was just thinking

if you didn’t send messages like this, you would already have


[cryinglaughingemoji goes here]

Every superfluous message when all you’re trying to do is arrange what time you’re meeting in the pub: 10c. Approx annual revenue: €1,000,000.

11. Kombucha

Source: digiyesica

Because honestly.

100% tax. Approx annual revenue: €750 or so?

12. Slow walkers

Source: Paolo Trabattoni

Also: people who stop abruptly on busy streets; people who blunder out of shop doorways not looking where they’re going; couples who walk hand in hand and force you to go an absurdly long way around.

To be enforced by gardaí. Any offenders given on-the-spot fine of €10; no need to involve the courts system except for repeat slow walkers ‘known to gardaí’. Send them down.

Approx annual revenue: €15,000,000.

13. Duvet usage over 50%

Source: Kai Hendry

Self-explanatory. Not much of a revenue raiser but would instantly improve all relationships in the country, and thus significantly raise national happiness.

Taxation to be levied according to the offence – from a token charge for accidental infractions, to major penalties for vicious and repeated offending.

Approx annual revenue: €2,000,000.

14. Politicians

Source: Photocall Ireland

Just because it would make us all feel better. Wouldn’t it? It would.

Approx annual revenue: €20,000,000.

TOTAL REVENUE FROM ALL TAXATION: €56,215,750 plus the budget of the new Late Late Show.

Inspired by Spin 1038.

More: Here’s what happens when there’s a topless photo shoot on a Dublin street>

More: 12 unsung heroes of the Irish photocall>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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