Friday 28 November 2014

Water changes and tax changes in pre-Budget submission by trade unions

Published 17/07/2014 | 12:20

TRADE unions have called for a reduction in water charges and refundable tax credits in their pre-budget submission.

Ictu has also dismissed the stated target of a €2bn adjustment in 2015, insisting €800m would be enough to reach the 3pc deficit target.

Launching the pre-budget submission, congress general secretary David Begg said the €800m adjustment would be achieved through reforms on tax expenditures, increased employers’ PRSI on incomes over €100,000.

Ictu has also proposed wealth tax on net incomes over €1m and a €400m increase in social spending to be invested in social housing and other community supports.

The congress wants to see increased excise duties on tobacco, sugar, salt and saturated fat in a bid to fight the growing obesity epidemic.

On water taxes, Mr Begg said only households with a gross income of at least €80,000 should have net household water charges next year.

“If water charges are to be introduced then the already announced free allowance will have to be supplemented by a system of water credits or cash transfers for lower and middle income families,” he said at this morning’s launch.

Details of the submissions were outlined by Dr Tom McDonnell of the Nevin Economic Research Institute who said the wealth tax would be low enough so as not to “lead to a flight of entrepreneurs”.

Ictu is not calling for an increase in public sector pay scales but Mr Begg said this was something all parties would have to face up to at some point down the line.

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