Here’s something to ask the next politician who comes seeking your vote in the upcoming general election: what are they going to do about the detested Universal Social Charge (USC)?

Everyone is reeling from the drop in their incomes. After last week’s Finance Bill amendment medical card holders may be a little happier, their rate came down to four per cent.

But it has gone up to 10 per cent for self-employed people whose businesses generate more than €100,000.

So what is the universal social charge? First, it is neither universal nor a ‘social’ charge. It doesn’t apply to all income and it is not earmarked for any existing or additional social benefit.

Let’s get one thing straight: the USC is just another tax.