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A better budget: What they could have done

If the right decisions were made, public confidence could be restored and spending would rise

•Tax saved on pension contributions to be held in government bonds (transferring €1bn to €1.5bn per annum from fund managers to the Government)

•Sixty per cent Capital Gains Tax on speculative gains

•Five per cent levy on income over €300,000, seven per cent on income over €500,000 and 10 per cent above €1m

•Bring the black economy into the tax net by proper financial profiling of the population

•Application of income tax and levies to non-productive sheltered company profits of high-net-worth individuals. And review of tax sheltering in Trusts.

•Social inclusion levy from companies of between one and two per cent of total income (€0.5bn to €1bn annually).

•Abolition of tax relief for all remaining discretionary tax-based expenses, which will cut the cost of tax administration and save the taxpayer money. For relief that is retained, such as medical expenses, provide tax

relief at source. Removing the need for the public to contact the Revenue Commissioners five million times a year.

•Cut public pay to cover the cost of the unfunded pensions (€2bn plus, annually) in advance of the introduction of proper funded pensions

•Step up the campaign to eradicate welfare fraud

•Seek 50 per cent cut in legal/advice fees paid on (large) government contracts. To be administered by a 50 per cent levy on fees

Sunday Independent