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SF re-hashes 'tax the rich' policies for incomes over €100k

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Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

SINN Fein president Gerry Adams yesterday re-hashed plans to impose a wealth tax on higher earners and introduce a third rate of tax on incomes over €100,000.

In his keynote address at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in Derry, Mr Adams said his party will introduce a taxation system where "wealth is used to fund social equality" if voted into power

He said his party will abolish water charges and property tax, and to make up the loss in revenue, will add a 7pc tax on all earnings over €100,000 and introduced a 1pc wealth tax on net wealth over €1m.

In addition, he said the party will take 200,000 people out of the Universal Social Charge.

The wealth tax will be imposed on assets including income, stock market shares, land and property owned in Ireland and abroad.

Possessions such as art, cars, boats, planes, jewellery and gold will also be taxed. Business and farming assets will not be taxed, and 20pc of the family home and its contents will also be excluded

Sinn Fein's controversial wealth tax proposals have not been costed by the Department of Finance.

Sinn Fein analysis estimates a wealth tax could raise up to €800m annually.

However, Finance Minister Michael Noonan previously suggested such a measure would only raise between €400m and €500m.

Mr Adams yesterday told delegates: "We were accused by the establishment parties of 'fairytale' economics.

"They have delivered nightmare economics. They refused to socialise the wealth, but they have no problem socialising the debt."

He also said corrupt politicians should be jailed, and not anti-water charge protesters.

Mr Adams also claimed there has been a "tsunami of untruth and smears" against Sinn Fein by their political opponents.

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness had earlier told the delegates he opposed austerity in both the North and South.

However, a group of protesters outside the venue claimed the Northern Ireland Assembly had "failed the people" by imposing Tory cuts.

Independent Derry City Councillor Dermot Quigley said: "We have political parties on our doorstep that are implementing austerity and rightfully so people are protesting against that.

"People are telling us their benefits are being cut and there's housing and health cuts."

Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald accused Tanaiste Joan Burton of turning down an offer from both TV3 and RTE to debate with her live on television.

She said she will debate with Ms Burton "anywhere, at any time".

To rapturous applause, she said: "Joan Burton challenged me to a debate (and) both Vincent Browne and RTE offered to facilitate that debate but Joan has changed her mind. Well, Joan, you know where to find me."

Sunday Independent