Opinion

Friday 22 September 2017

Cut taxes in Budget by €2bn to get us spending

Investment is for the future - now we need consumers who have money to spend

Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton
Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton

James Fitzsimons

There's less than three weeks to go to the Budget and it's anyone's guess as to what will happen. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, wants to take 1pc off the top rate of tax. That's one of the dumbest proposals I've heard. It benefits those on the highest incomes disproportionately to everyone else, and when there's not enough to pay for essential services it's just plain stupid.

A married couple on €100,000 a year would save €344; it wouldn't even pay for the property tax, and water charges will claw it back, starting next week. A single person on the average industrial wage would gain about €70 a year. If your gross income is a million a year, then you gain €10,000, but even that's not much when you are paying 7pc for USC and they are taking 0.75pc from your pension fund, and so on.

If you are among the retired public sector elite, or a retired Taoiseach, it's a gain of over €1,000 for your pension alone, and two or three times that will be saved on what they pay you for the government quango you were appointed to.

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