Tuesday 22 October 2019

Sinn Féin's €2bn tax-hike plans 'would pay for rent freeze and two free GP visits'

Plans: Louise O Reilly TD (left) and Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Plans: Louise O Reilly TD (left) and Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

SINN Féin wants a new wealth tax and a third rate of income tax to pay for a freeze in rents and two free GP visits for anyone without a medical card.

In its alternative Budget document published yesterday, the party has proposed a raft of new tax increases that would raise more than €2bn to pay for increased public spending, financial aid for renters and supports for the sectors of the economy worst affected by Brexit.

The plan includes a proposal to tax the wealthiest 0.25pc in the State at a rate of 1pc on the portion of wealth over €1m and to introduce a 5pc tax on the portion of a worker's income above €140,000 - in effect a third rate of income tax.

The party also wants to abolish local property tax, but re-introduce a second home charge at a rate of €400 as well as increase commercial stamp duty and the vacant site levy. Its tax plans also include adding 50c to the cost of a packet of cigarettes.

The money raised from these tax measures would be used to pay for a €279m plan to tackle the housing crisis by introducing a three-year freeze on all rents as well as an annual tax break equal to one month's every year for three years.

Under Sinn Féin's plans childcare would be overhauled, a government levy on the insurance industry abolished to help reduce premiums, and a phased plan for universal free GP care would be introduced.

The party's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty told the Irish Independent: "It is about giving workers and families a break."

Irish Independent

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