Tuesday 24 October 2017

Renua's 'big ideas' - abolish TV licence, scrap motor tax and reduce income tax

Lucinda Creighton and other Renua members. Photo: Barbara Lindberg
Lucinda Creighton and other Renua members. Photo: Barbara Lindberg
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

RENUA Ireland wants to abolish the television licence, scrap motor tax and reduce income tax to a flat rate of 23pc.

Lucinda Creighton’s party has launched what she described as a “big ideas” pre-Budget submission today in which it outlined a series of changes to the tax system.

She said that Ireland should move towards a flat tax system “as swiftly as possible” as the current system is forcing people to work part-time or refuse extra hours because extra earnings are eaten up by tax.

The party says that it’s “conservative projections” show that a flat rate of 23pc would generate approximately 75-80pc of the existing income tax take.

However, Ms Creighton told a press conference in Dublin that workers will retain 77pc of their current income which they could then spend as they wish. She said this would lead to economic growth and ultimately make up the shortfall.

She cited similar tax systems which operation in Singapore and Estonia.

“A flat tax spreads the burden across all workers. You will keep a higher proportion of what you earn,” Ms Creighton said.

Ms Creighton said the pre-Budget submission was not the party’s election manifesto but she believed the flat tax rate would be “non-negotiable” if they are to enter a coalition after the election.

Renua also wants to do away with motor tax on all vehicles, saying that it is costly to collect and police. Instead the party would put a direct levy on fuel.

Renua TD Billy Timmons said this would benefit people in rural areas who need a car but rarely use it. Hauliers would get some form of rebate on the levy.

On the television licence fee, which currently costs households €160, Ms Creighton said it gave RTÉ an unfair advantage over competitors like TV3 and UTV.

“It a recognition that RTÉ is not the only broadcaster that can provide public service broadcasting,” she said.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar tweeted on the back of the party's ideas launch this evening.

"23pc flat tax that leaves everyone better off. Think I'll buy some shares in snake oil #re-not-so-nua," he wrote.

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