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Thread: Legislation Lookback.

  1. #1

    Default Legislation Lookback.

    I propose a thread where we have a look back at legislation from the statute books out of curiosity, and maybe we might learn a historical trivia or two.

    Have a browse through the Acts here

    Acts of the Oireachtas

    Pick any year you fancy and any Act that strikes you as interesting for whatever reason. It could be because it was politically troublesome, economically insane or maybe it was just plain weird by today's standards.

    Write a bit about it and maybe provide some background or historically relevant information. I know F.all about law, politics or history so please don't get uber-pedantic about any mistakes or inaccuracies. But by all means help with the understanding where appropriate.

    To kick off, I like this one.

    The Wealth Tax Act 1975.

    This Act was passed by the 20th Dail in July 1975.

    Liam Cosgrave FG was Taoiseach and the Minister of Finance was Richie Ryan.

    Section 2 of the act stated the tax would be 1% of taxable wealth.

    Charge of wealth tax.
    2. —Subject to the provisions of this Act and any regulations thereunder, with effect on and from the 5th day of April, 1975, a tax, to be called wealth tax, shall be charged, levied and paid annually upon the net market value of the taxable wealth on the valuation date in every year of every assessable person and the rate of tax shall be one per cent. of that net market value.
    What's funny about this legislation is that it seems to have been written to target a very specific group, discretionary trusts and non-trading private companies. I've no idea why.

    The list of exemptions in section 7 would probably have exempted the vast majority of Irish citizens in 1975. Top of the list was that private dwellings were exempt, as were productive farmlands, artworks and jewellery.

    Some of the Dáil debate from Report stage can be seen here between Ryan and Colley.

    The act was effectively repealed in 1978 by the 1978 Finance Act, Part V Section 38.

    Abolition of wealth tax and amendment of sections 18 and 22 (interest on tax) of Wealth Tax Act, 1975.
    38. —(1) Wealth tax shall not be charged, levied or paid under the provisions of the Act by reference to any valuation date occurring on or after the 5th day of April, 1978.
    At the time of the abolition, Jack Lynch was Taoiseach and George Colley was MoF.

    In 1975, I was 7, Mercury was writing Bohemian Rhapsody and I reckon my father was worried about budgets.
    Redacted.

  2. #2
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    Great idea for a thread, a bit too much reading for me for Sat night/Sun morning but will look again tomorrow
    It's either very new cheese or very old meat...

  3. #3

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    While I'm at it.

    POOR RELIEF (DUBLIN) ACT, 1929.

    AN ACT TO EXTEND THE POWERS OF BOARDS OF GUARDIANS OF UNIONS IN THE COUNTY AND COUNTY BOROUGH OF DUBLIN FOR THE RELIEF OF DESTITUTE POOR PERSONS OUT OF THE WORK HOUSES OF SUCH UNIONS. [20th December, 1929.]
    One notable observation of this Act is Section 6: Expenses in Dublin Union.

    An act of legislation regarding poverty has as its most verbose section the ins and outs of expenses payments for the um... not impoverished members of the Dublin Union.

    6. —(1) For the purpose of this section the Dublin Union shall be divided into two portions (in this section referred to as “districts”) as follows, that is to say:—

    (a) the area consisting of the County Borough of Dublin, the Urban District of Rathmines and Rathgar and the Urban District of Pembroke shall form one such district, and

    (b) the remainder of the Dublin Union shall form the other such district.
    (3) Where any expenses are incurred by the Board of Guardians of the Dublin Union in or in relation to the granting of relief under this Act to destitute poor persons in the said union generally or to destitute poor persons in an area including the whole or portion of one district and also the whole or portion of the other district, such expenses shall, subject to such regulations, if any, as may be made by the Minister in that behalf, be apportioned by the Board of Guardians between the two districts in such proportions as shall seem to the Board just and proper.
    In 1929, no doubt, some people didn't have a brick to sit on. Mega loads of history was about to go super-shrapnel.

    Anyway, as a result of googling this particular bit of legislative history, I found this essay by some unknown dude in Germany.

    http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/5535/...eform_MPRA.pdf

    The politics of poor law reform in early twentieth century Ireland

    It looks like an undergrad thesis. I'll read it tomorrow.

    Come on! Post your weird laws.
    Redacted.

  4. #4
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    It's a bit of a smorgasbord alright EVM, didn't really know where to start so I let vanity guide me and looked at the list of Acts passed the year I was born. The one that caught my eye was this one:

    PROHIBITION OF FORCIBLE ENTRY AND OCCUPATION ACT, 1971

    because from my limited knowledge of the law I understood this to be covered by existing legislation and thought that maybe it was designed to cover a loophole being exploited by squatters of the long haired, patchouli-scented variety who were flocking to empty Georgian piles in Ballsbridge by the truckload in the hope of getting stoned or indulging in 'free love.'

    However when I opened it and saw it included vehicles as well as land I thought that's odd, was Timothy Leary driving around Connemara handing out Kool Aid in the late 60's? (it would certainly explain a lot). Then I remembered the other kind of squatters, the indigenous ones who lower the tone of certain neighbourhoods; those quite likely to forcibly occupy land and I remembered the 'penny for the baby' cultural misunderstanding when I was about 8 and thought the baby was going to end up on the bonfire...

    On closer inspection, I found the vehicle clause revealing:
    “vehicle” means an aircraft not in flight, a train, an omnibus or a boat, ship or other vessel in any port or harbour, or on any river or lake, in the State or anywhere in territorial waters.
    Presumably this part wasn't directed at members of the travelling community. That said, I had no idea that hippies in 1970's Ireland were so sophisticated or ambitious and then it occured to me that perhaps this definition was drafted by a legislator with foresight and an eye to future uses of Shannon by the US military?
    It's either very new cheese or very old meat...

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