Saturday 25 March 2017

Economic gains will not be sacrificed for tax cuts and public spending hikes - Howlin

Brendan Howlin.
Brendan Howlin.

Colm Kelpie in Belfast

POSSIBLE tax cuts and public spending increases will be looked at for Budget 2015, but the economic gains made to date won't be put at risk, Brendan Howlin has warned.

The Public Expenditure and Reform Minister said the country needs to make sustainable decisions and avoid the mistakes of the past.

The coalition has been building up an expectation of an income tax cut in October's budget.

Lifting the income threshold where the higher rate of tax kicks in is likely to be the focus of any cut in personal tax in the Budget.

'We will look in a very clear way of what is affordable in the economy, either by way of expenditure increases or by way of tax reductions,'' Mr Howlin said, on the margins of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce International conference in Belfast.

''We have broadened the tax base very significantly, we have worked toward a balanced budget and we're not going to put any of that at risk''

Yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said examining a potential income tax cut was a priority for the Government. He said the Government recognised the pressure people were under.

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