Sunday 21 January 2018

Labour intends to hike upper income tax rate to 48pc

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore last night pledged to raise taxes as part of his party's plan to reduce the public finances deficit by up to €4bn.

He said taxation had to be "part of the mix", arguing that a 48pc tax rate for the highest earners making more than €100,000 would ensure that those who were paid the most, contributed the most.

And he said the €200 tax on second homes could be increased and water charges introduced as soon as meters were installed -- a process expected to take two years.

"It is of course regrettable that extra taxes are necessary, but they are," he said.

Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton also hinted that some lower-paid workers could be brought into the tax net if "rampant tax avoidance" among those at the top were tackled.

"We are constantly reminded that a high percentage of wage earners at the lower end of the pay scales pay no income tax at all. A well-structured universal levy could have a significant role in achieving savings here," she said.

Mr Gilmore outlined his party's measures during yesterday's Dail debate on the economic crisis, after being stung by criticisms of his party's lack of specific cost-cutting plans. But he detailed only €150m worth of cuts to the €20bn-plus social welfare budget, and some of the promised savings from abolishing property tax reliefs may not be achievable.

Mr Gilmore told the Dail his party's jobs plan would cost €230m but would help get work for some of the 442,000 people on the dole queues.

Irish Independent

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