Saturday 24 February 2018

Labour claims Sinn Féin plans would hike taxes

Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy
John Downing

John Downing

Sinn Féin has been accused of making economic plans which would add €600 per year to the tax bill of a worker earning €30,000.

Labour TD Michael McCarthy, said the Sinn Féin submission to the National Economic Dialogue lifted the veil on how their alternative budgetary plans would hit middle income families.

He said the Sinn Féin proposal would mean across-the-board tax increases and new spending to replace lost revenues from abolished water charges and property taxes.

"Sinn Féin would have average families subject to the highest marginal tax rate in the Western world, and would add at least €600 to the tax bill of an ordinary worker earning €30,000.

"Added to that, Martin McGuinness has called on the Government to help bail out the Northern Ireland Executive," Mr McCarthy told the Irish Independent.

Sinn Féin rejected the assertion, saying it smacked of "desperation" by Labour.

"The voters know that Labour in government has been the party of stealth taxes and they will act accordingly," a spokesman replied.

The Cork South West TD said Sinn Féin had proposed abolishing water charges and bringing Irish Water back on to the Government accounts.

Taking account of the need to replace the revenue for these charges and to fund Irish water borrowings, this could put a €650m hole in the public finances in 2016.

Abolishing the local property tax would cost a further €450m, meaning a total of €1.1bn would have to be found.

"Sinn Féin then calls for a new higher rate of income tax of 48pc on earnings over €100,000. Taken together with PRSI and USC, this proposal would raise the top rate of tax to 60pc for PAYE workers and to 63pc for the self-employed," Deputy McCarthy said.

He said this would be the highest marginal tax rate in the developed world of OECD countries. He said this submission indicated that Sinn Féin would be an extremely high-tax party and the implications of the submissions were not widely enough known. Mr McCarthy challenged Sinn Féin to spell out the details of its plans.

Irish Independent

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