The Irish Government proposed this morning a ‘Pedestrian Tax’ that, if successful, will operate around the country. The proposed measure is another, in a long line of taxes, austerity measure that aims to see Ireland emerge from the current economic downturn. The idea is the brainchild of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who announced the proposal with a smug look on his face at a press conference this morning with prominent members of the press. Speaking to reporters the Taoiseach said,
“This is a decision that will benefit all members of society. We have a budget deficit that needs to be addressed. Pedestrians are one group of society that have escaped the strong austerity measures of the country because they feel that they are entitled to walk around the streets free of charge. There has to come a time for accountability, the cost of running pedestrian lights has increased exponentially over the last decade and from now on, if you wish to avail of the service you will have to reach into your pocket.”
The proposed tax has understandably been met with backlash from members of the public and from those in opposition parties. While the logistics of the plan have not been finalised, it is reported that if successful, the public will have to place a 20 cent coin into the traffic light in order to activate the pedestrian crossing button. If they do not do this, then they will have to cross the road under their own initiative.
The coalition government hope to have the system up and running by January 2015 and said there will be strict penalties for those who do not comply with the new procedure of crossing the road.