Thursday 21 September 2017

Raising income tax for high earners will not provoke exodus from Ireland - Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Plans to hike income tax for those earning over €100,000 a year will not provoke high earners to leave Ireland, according to Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams.

According to the party, those above a certain income level will pay an effective tax rate of 52pc if Sinn Fein are in government.

But this has been disputed by Fine Gael sources who say the effective top rate under the SF plan will be as high as 73pc, when Universal Social Charge and PRSI are included.

Sinn Fein called a special press conference in Dublin this evening, attended by Deputy Adams, and Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.

The purpose was to highlight “key challenges facing people prior to the general election.”

Deputy McDonald said Fine Gael “has spun a line’’ regarding the Sinn Fein tax proposals.

Speaking to independent.ie, she stressed the higher rate would only apply to those earning in excess of €100,000 per annum.

“People who are wealthier are as patriotic as anybody else,’’ Mr Adams added.

He insisted too much of taxpayer’s money is currently being wasted on “cronies of the government’’ and projects such as Irish Water.

“Who would want to be paying tax when it isn’t building public services, and when it isn’t looking after the vulnerable.

“The way the tax system is working at the moment, it favours the high earners. It favours those who can employ the accountants to find the wriggle room. We want to see a complete reform of the system based on fairness,’’ said Deputy Adams.

Referring to the possible formation of the next government, he said the priority for the party will be to “get the biggest possible mandate.”

“This will influence the other parties. The second phase is to negotiate a programme for government. Cleary, given our politics, there is an incompatibility between our position and Fine Gael.

“You can’t do all the things you want to do in one fell swoop. You have to set priorities and shape your programme to meet those priorities.

“If we were to say our preference in one sentence, it has to be an anti-austerity government which may be wider than the left.”

He said it is difficult to predict what will be the post election position of Independent TDs such as Shane Ross - who he insisted can be classified as “anti-austerity.”

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