Noonan must reverse tax rises
One of the most retrograde steps of the past few years has been the partial undoing of the gradual lowering of tax rates carried out over the previous two decades. The top marginal tax rate is now back up to 52pc when the Universal Social Charge is included.
This much higher marginal tax rate has made it extremely difficult for multinationals to attract key staff to Ireland, a problem which the Finance Bill published yesterday belatedly seeks to address.
Under the terms of the government's proposed Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP) generous tax breaks will be given to skilled individuals coming to work in Ireland for companies. Qualifying workers will receive a 30pc discount on their tax on any income earned between €75,000 and €500,000. This will reduce the top effective rate for such workers to just 36.4pc.