herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Now Bertie wants to tax Dubliners

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has suggested an extra tax on Dubliners.

The former Taoiseach claimed the new elected Dublin mayor should be allowed to impose a levy on the capital.

The North Dublin TD told the Herald that the position "won't work" unless the newly elected mayor can raise funds within the city.

At a time when cash-strapped tax payers are struggling to hold onto their jobs, Bertie insisted that a city tax would be for the greater good.

"If you have a lord mayor you have to have the ability to raise funds for Dublin. If you look at the lord mayors in other cities, they have the powers of raising taxes. If you can't raise things then you can't spend it on the city," he said.

Bertie insists that new legislation should be brought about to allow the newly elected mayor to impose the new tax.

"Everywhere has [a city tax], in France the local mayors do. I think they should put it into legislation. I think it's the way to do it."

The three-time Taoiseach stressed that the new Dublin mayor would not have any power if he/she was constantly forced to raise cash by asking for it from central government.

Meanwhile, the Dubliner is spending his second St Patrick's Day in around 20 years on Irish soil, and he'll be watching the parade with his daughter Georgina and her husband, Westlife's Nicky Byrne.

"I'm here. I go to the parade with the grandkids and then I go to Croke Park to watch the club finals. Cecelia will stay at home because Robin's too small, but Georgina and the kids and Nico are going. I think they've tickets for the stand."

Bertie says he's looking forward to a trip down memory lane at the parade.

"I used to always bring Georgina and Cecelia to see the parade so Georgina wants to do the same with the kids now. The parade is always good and people put in a huge effort."

Mr Ahern admitted that he was "fed up" constantly travelling on Ireland's patriotic day.

"I was fed up being away. I'm so glad being here. To be in Dublin on Paddy's day is great, and watch the Portumna match against Ballyhale, and Kilmurry-Ibrickane and St Gall's."

Bertie was at the Olympia theatre last night to support the Teenline Variety show which saw X Factor's Eoghan Quigg and Don Baker perform.

And he revealed that he's given away some of his recent €10,000 pub lottery win to charity, and some to local football clubs in north Dublin.

"I've given bits of it to some charities and some clubs and I've used it to pay the bills, so I've already given some of it away," he said.

ggittens@herald.ie

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