Monday 5 December 2016

Coalition warned to make careful choices before using €3bn tax windfall

Kevin Doyle and Colm Kelpie

Published 03/12/2015 | 02:30

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath
Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett

Opposition TDs have called for the Government to make wise choices with the €3bn extra collected in taxes this year.

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The latest exchequer returns released yesterday confirmed the Government has collected almost €3bn more than it expected in tax up to the end of November, with corporation tax accounting for the bulk of the over-performance.

Some €41.97bn had been brought into the State's coffers by the end of last month - 7.5pc higher than initially targeted.

Key tax takes, including income tax and VAT, remain above expectations, with income tax bringing in €16.57bn, up 0.3pc, while VAT totalled €11.76bn, up 3pc.

Corporation tax receipts were up a massive 57.7pc on what was expected, at €6.36bn.

Month-on-month, a surge in VAT and corporation tax receipts, which were 11pc and 24pc better than targeted respectively, helped push the amount taken in by the State to €6.9bn - €470m better than targeted.

For the first 11 months of the year, the exchequer posted a surplus of €343m, which compares with a deficit of €5.8bn in the same period of last year.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the money should be used to help solve the housing crisis or support the healthcare system.

He said: "I think it's absolutely shocking that we have €3bn extra in tax revenue and instead of using that to solve an absolute disastrous situation with housing and homelessness, or putting it into our health service, which is an absolute mess.

"The Government are going to use this money to pay off even faster the odious and illegitimate debts of bankers and bondholders. It's quite extraordinary."

Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said the money should be stored for future emergencies.

"There is now a need to start considering a fund which would be ring-fenced, which could not be dipped into for day-to-day expenditure," he said.

The Revenue Commissioners has said that the bulk of the over-performance in corporation tax is set to be repeated next year, amid concerns that it may not be sustainable.

Irish Independent

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