Wednesday 25 April 2018

Universal Social Charge to be slashed on incomes up to €70k - Taoiseach

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The Government will slash the 7pc rate of Universal Social Charge (USC) on incomes up to €70,000, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has pledged.

Mr Kenny's signal of USC rate cuts comes as the Dail debates the contents of the 'Spring Economic Statement'.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin today labelled the Spring Statement a "desperate attempt by the Government to buy itself out of unpopularity".

"The Statement is simply another political stunt and, as with so many others, it is fooling no one and it is exposing the core failure of this government," Mr Martin said.

But in one of the first tangible announcements ahead of October's Budget, the Taoiseach said the 7pc USC rate on salaries up to €70,000 will be cut. It's expected that it will be cut to 6pc, Government sources have confirmed.

A one per cent drop for somebody on €40,000 salary would represent an estimated €225 savings per annum.

The deeply-unpopular USC was introduced as an emergency tax during the recession in January 2011 by the Fianna Fail-led Government.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said changes to the USC will form a major focus of the Government's budgetary strategy.

The 7pc rate applies to salaries of between €17,000-€70,000.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Siteserv controversy again dominated Dail proceedings this morning.

The Taoiseach was forced once again to defend the Siteserv controversy, insisting that the review being carried out will ensure the taxpayer is "defended".

He once again batted off calls for an independent inquiry, saying the Comptroller & Auditor General will be given a role to review transactions carried out by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) if required.

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