Sunday 30 April 2017

Tax breaks come at a cost

'To run this country, we are borrowing money left right and centre' (stock photo)
'To run this country, we are borrowing money left right and centre' (stock photo)
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Sir - To run this country, we are borrowing money left right and centre, and the usual excuse why we cannot afford to properly pay our young doctors, nurses, teachers and other public servants is because we can't afford to, due to other demands on the public purse.

The main reason for this state of affairs is that the State is not collecting enough money to govern. The economic think-tank Tasc identified 126 tax expenditures that enabled big business to legally reduce or avoid paying tax. This cost the country around €23bn in foregone revenue since 2014 and these breaks had no clear social or economic objective.

Most of these tax breaks were allowed following lobbying by special interest groups. In a recent example (Business, Sunday Independent, January 15), it was reported that Kennedy Wilson, the country's largest landlord, had warned Michael Noonan over proposed changes to "vulture" taxation.

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