Sunday 25 June 2017

Noonan missed 'ability to pay'

Madam – It was dispiriting to read the crass remarks of Michael Noonan as he sought to defend levying the property tax on those on basic fixed incomes who will not be able to afford it. He unbelievably came to the view that it should be so levied because of data that came across his desk concerning the numbers in the country who buy Sky sports packages. The Finance Minister decided that if they can afford such a "luxury" they can afford to pay the tax. Following this logic, can we expect the Finance Bill to contain a clause exempting those who do not buy Sky sports?

And seeing as the minister relies on what "crosses his desk" can I remind him of the Commission on Taxation Report which specifically states, "account must be taken of cases where there is inability to pay".

There are, of course, blatantly obvious reasons why a tax should always have regard for ability to pay, but it adds immeasurably to the state of depression that prevails at present to consider that it might be necessary to have to explain those to the second most senior politician in the country. Who said 2013 can't be any worse than 2012?

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