Taoiseach admits young emigrants won't return home due to high taxes
Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has acknowledged that many young Irish emigrants are opting not to return home because they feel they are "screwed" by taxes here.
Speaking at the MacGill Summer School, Mr Kenny said of the 50pc rate which kicks in on incomes over €33,800, "it's too high a rate and it kicks in too early".
"That makes it more difficult for our sons and daughters to come home if they want to because they'll say 'why should I? Why should I go back if I'm going to get screwed for tax here?'," he said.
He said this would be addressed in the upcoming Budget, where USC would be further reduced from 7pc and the marginal rate of tax paid by those on under €70,000 would drop below 50pc.
As he arrived at Glenties a group of water protesters delivered a very personal message to Mr Kenny unfurling a banner written as if it had come from his late mother.
It read: "Kenny a message for you, from guess who?? I lie here in my grave, restless, distraught, in tears and despair as I unable to stop you rob, cheat and lie to the Irish people. Please stop before it too late so I can RIP. Your Mother. Bye" [sic].
Annmarie Patten of Donegal Water Warriors group defended the deeply personal attack insisting: "I don't feel it is too personal, I'm sure his mother is turning in her grave".
Around 50 protesters gathered in Glenties before Mr Kenny arrived while 70 gardai monitored the group. However the Taoiseach laughed off the protesters, telling the gathering: "Thank you for the welcome here in Glenties, inside and outside."
He told the crowd the country was at a crossroads, warning: "In times ahead we can retrace our steps but we can never undo the initial road that we decide to travel."
He said there was nothing trivial about the decision the country would make in next year's general election.
In a pointed attack on Sinn Féin and Independent TDs, he stated one route was "possibly mined, certainly unmapped and certainly untested".
He scathingly warned it would be "a political freakshow, free for all, where it's none for all and all for none".
"I hope we don't end up with a tower of Babel in respect of the Independents where nobody can get anything done," he added.
He also warned against a return to the boom and bust days of the Fianna Fáil leadership, saying it wouldn't take much to put the country into reverse.
Earlier yesterday, campaigner for the homeless Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, called for a referendum on the right to housing.
She said everyone had the right to a home, adding: "We have played the market with people's basic human needs. This is nothing short of indecent."
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin also addressed the gathering saying he was concerned that a poor policy on migration was giving rise for the first time in Irish society to a political party focusing on the single issue of immigration.