Nixers - whaaaaa?
Irish people have had a healthy disregard to authority for a long time, probably dating to the centuries of English rule. While we have self-governed ourselves for about 80 years now, this attitude continues in many facets of Irish society. You only have to look at the various tribunals still in session to see that it extends from the top (ie, the politicians who should be setting a good example) down. There is still a type of respect given to those who cheat the authorities/government, especially when it comes to paying tax. A nixer is the term for a job done where the bill does not include tax, normally value-added tax. The name derives from the Latin 'Nix' which translates as 'nothing'. Certain smaller firms still keep two accounting books - one which shows tax paid for selective jobs, adding some credibility to their work, and another which shows jobs completed without payment of tax. The Irish tax authorities have clamped down in recent years - one amusing aspect of this 'game' has been the publication in national newspapers of all tax defaulters! Dublin is still rife with nixers and some bright spark has named his website after this practice (the site is legitimate though)! More to come...including courting, first communions, church processions, last rites, etc.