Social Justice calls for workers to get extra €5 in tax credits a week
INCOME taxpayers should get an extra €5 a week in tax credits, Social Justice Ireland has said in a pre-Budget submission.
This would effectively mean €5 less would be paid in income tax. Over a full year this would be worth €260 to a taxpayer. In the last Budget, changes meant that all workers ended up paying an extra €260 in pay related social insurance (PRSI).
And social welfare rates should be hiked by the same amount, according to the advocacy group.
The group, which campaigns on issues related to poverty, inequality and social exclusion, said no income taxpayers should pay less than 45pc of their income over to the State.
It said its proposals were costed and can be achieved while reducing the Exchequer borrowing by €3.1bn in 2014, in line with the State's agreement with the bailout troika.
Social Justice's Sean Healy said there should be a minimum effective corporate tax rate of 6pc and that the Budget should provide a major investment programme and protect public services.
The submission opposes any further expenditure cuts when the Budget is announced on October 16. Dr Healy said austerity was a failed approach, and there should be no expenditure cuts in the Budget.
"It is long past the time government realised austerity is not working for Ireland."
He said the Government's policies had cut spending, raised taxes, increased unemployment, lowered wages, decimated services and allowed infrastructure to deteriorate on the understanding that austerity would lead to recovery.
Social Justice claimed that previous budgets had targeted the poor more than the rich and provided very little investment. It called for a capital programme focused on developing physical and social infrastructure.
The submission also calls for the introduction of a 0.01pc financial transactions tax to raise €500m next year.
Removing the dyeing process for agricultural and industrial diesel would save €750m and would have a significant impact on reducing fuel laundering and criminal activity, it added.
Michelle Murphy, research analyst with Social Justice, said: "Austerity has been exposed as having an unsound academic basis, as being a failure in practice and as morally unethical because poor and middle-income people have borne an unfair share of its consequences."
She said that austerity has produced structural unemployment, rising poverty levels, a sustained child-poverty problem, on-going adult literacy challenges, high emigration, lengthening social housing waiting lists and declining physical and social infrastructure.