Slap sin tax on bad habits – Tasc
TAX increases should be slapped on "socially bad" goods like gambling, tobacco and alcohol in the Budget, think-tank Tasc has said.
Excise duty should also be imposed on saturated fat, added sugar and salt.
The body called for the Budget adjustment to be reduced to €2.7bn from €3.1bn, with cuts in spending isolated only to the €350m saved through the Haddington Road Agreement.
Tasc also called for a €1.5bn investment programme, the introduction of a wealth tax and reforms to pension tax reliefs.
Director Nat O'Connor said the measures were fully costed, and if implemented, would lead to a more equitable recovery, while achieving the Government's deficit targets.
"If the Dail votes for further cuts in public expenditure programmes, the consequences will be further harm to Ireland's growth potential – increasing poverty and growing social inequality, all of which will act against the goal of stabilising the national debt and deficit," Mr O'Connor said.
Under its Budget plan, Tasc wants to increase excise duty on a pack of cigarettes by 50 cents with a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products.