Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Unique Place

Here are some interesting economical things I learned while in Ireland (Quick Version)
- Their equivalant to our sales tax (VAT tax) is 21.5% in the Republic of Ireland and 15% in Northern Ireland. No property tax. Highest incomce tax rate in the UK is now 50%, 35% in the Republic of Ireland.

-Outstanding public facilities (train stations, airport, buses, libraries, etc..) with plenty of ongoing building in downtown areas.

-Belfast is a ticking time bomb ready to send the country back to the 1980's. The relgious divide is apparent in N. Ireland and it is going to come to a boiling point soon according to many of the people I spoke with.

-Despite the tensions between the Protestants and Catholics, many Catholics prefer to remain a part of the UK and fear the economic change that would accompany succession.

-Outside of the main cities, Dublin & Belfast, most of the communities are either self sustained (inland) or are focused around the tourist industry (Coastal Regions).

-Sadly fly fishing is not very popular in Ireland. There are a few die hard old timers, but fishing is looked on as a means to an end, not as a hobby.

-There are a lot of Polish people in Ireland. They mostly came over as mushroom pickers in the 1970's and 1980's and were once considered the gypsy class of Ireland, living out of caravans (motorhomes). Now they are accepted as a part of the Irish working class population.Very similar to the Mexican population in California.

-Polish is the #2 language in Ireland, ahead of Gaelic and behind English.

-Ford has a strong presence in Ireland. GM, although I did see a dealership, I didnt see any of their cars on the road.

...To be continued.....maybe....