Thomond Park wrote:Being relatively young and I hope healthy I do not benefit from either old age pension or from those with health problems but I have no objection to either group receiving state funds as such expenditure generally tends to be spread quite evenly on a per capita basis.
The tax system doesn't just boild down to the pension, the health service and filling potholes. Who funds the books in your local library? Who paid for the pedestrian crossing down the street from you? Who provides lights for your street at night? Who pays for the flights of some politician to Brussels last week? Who paid for the biros used by the Ombudsman in October 2004?
Is health expenditure spread quite evenly across the country? You must live in Dublin to believe that!
Thomond Park wrote: Lynnott is a significant popular culture icon and has made a large contribution to the development of the now internationally successful indigenous music industry whilst not on the scale of Liverpool the outlay of the statue represents the only civic investment in celebrating all the Internationally successful players such as U2, Enya etc and cost about what the average townland recieved for pot-hole filling prior to either the 2002 general or 2004 national elections. Unlike the potholes the statue will age positvely.
Lets keep it real, as the saying goes.
Thomond Park wrote: The vast majority of successful B & Bs tend to be located either within or directly at the edge of towns]
Why then are so many rural B&Bs of the type that appear to cause so much controversy. That is the much maligned large obtrusive modern structures that lack any relationship to the landscape (not my description). Such structures are not paid for without good custom - it seems reasonable to assume therefore that these B&Bs are doing ok. As I know you like to see supporting statistical evidence on such issues, I would be grateful if you could give me a reference to some publicly available information on the economic succes of urban B7Bs in comparison to rural B&Bs. Just a web-site link would satisfy me.
As regards your outcomes - there is a third possibility, although it may not be obvious from the Irish perspective. Some tourists leave their B7Bs in the evening, have a meal somewhere, do not drink alcohol or - as many do - drink within the allowed limits and then drive safely back to the B&B. Or, they might even have a designated driver for each night of their holiday. They might also buy food that day in a local supermarket or shop on the way to the B&B and eat it there that night. Maybe I am strange, but I love to stay at out-of-the way B&Bs in France and pensions in Germany and Austria. For people who live in Europe's cities this is often the primary objective of their holiday - to escape urban life.Thomond Park wrote: On a per capita basis all of those facilities can be justified as the pooled resources accross an entire region combine to make the contribution negligible. In the case of Cork it is evident that the organising committee delivered an excellent programme far in excess of what could be reasonably expected from their modest budget.
Yes, the pooled resources across an entire country combine to make the contribution negligible. That is why the filling of pot-holes in rural Ireland probably costs you personally about 10 cent per annum, probably about the same as it costs to buy tents for the army in 2003. Maybe you are unique and you get a detailed tax -bill break down indicating how many thousands of euros you have contributed to the boreen network of Ireland. I never got this. What the Cork organizing committee did or din't do is also irrelevant. The point is that we all contribute to a central pool of funds, some of which we benefit from, some of which we don't. I, for example, saw no point in the Spire in Dublin. It has hardly become a major symbol of Ireland and doesn't really reflect anything 'Irish'. If it is a national symbol, then it could have been put somehwere 'down the country'. I have not benefited from it directly or indirectly. It probably cost as much as the repair bill for a thousand boreens for 4 years. Do I whine about it and complain about those me feiners in Dublin that have the joy of catching a brief glimpse of it every morning from the bus. No.
Still haven't heard any comment on getting rid of cottages, those particularly functionless, energy wasting, blights on the landscape.