Wednesday 17 October 2018

Renua defends tax plan 'too radical for Trump'

Eddie Hobbs and Lucinda Creighton at the announcement of Renua’s pre-budget submission in Dublin
Eddie Hobbs and Lucinda Creighton at the announcement of Renua’s pre-budget submission in Dublin
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

RENUA Ireland has defended its proposed 23pc flat rate of income tax, after the Labour Party said it was too radical for even Donald Trump.

In its pre-Budget submission, Lucinda Creighton's party also proposed the abolition of the television licence fee and the scrapping of the motor tax.

She said they were "big ideas", but viewed the ref orm of the tax system as a "non-negotiable" issue if they are in talks about forming a government after the General Election.

"We should embrace the simplicity of this tax. It will cast sunshine on the cabal of insiders that have colluded to produce crony tax reliefs and exemptions," Ms Creighton said.

The tax would be applied across the board, but people on welfare or low wages would get a graduated contribution.

"The evidence overwhelmingly speaks in favour of this, but our politicians have been too cowardly to introduce it," Ms Creighton said.

The 23pc flat tax has not been costed by the Department of Finance, but Renua says its "conservative projections" show it would generate 75-80pc of the existing income tax take.

More spending by consumers would then make up the shortfall.

Health Minister Leo Vardakar attacked Ms Ceighton's tax policy.

He tweeted: "23% flat tax that leaves everyone better off. Think I'll buy some shares in snake oil #re-not-so-nua."

Labour and Fianna Fáil were also quick to dismiss the proposal, saying it would mainly benefit the richest in society.

Junior minister Kevin Humphreys said: "Right-wing republican candidates in the US are fans of flat taxes as they benefit the 'fat cats' at the top, but even Donald Trump thinks this radical form of tax policy is too unfair. If Renua's tax policy is too right-wing for Trump, they're in trouble."

Renua also outlined plans to end the TV licence fee as it "doesn't represent the reality of modern-day life".

Instead, Renua would create a broadcasting fund and allow all broadcasters to tender for it.

Irish Independent

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