Still no promises on family tax breaks
THE Government has failed to commit itself in writing to delivering income tax cuts to struggling families, despite much commentary from ministers in recent days.
The Opposition have said the document was severely lacking in specific details on many topics, particularly any identifiable income tax policy. Just last weekend, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that he intended to ease the taxation burden on struggling families and indicated he would seek to reduce the top rate of tax and or, increase the level at which people start paying the top rate.
The strongest commitment the Government made in its document 'A Strategy for Growth' on income tax was that it would "avoid increases in income tax rates" to ensure work paid. It said tax increases, would, in the first instance, take the form of ending "overly generous, poorly targeted and unaffordable tax reliefs". It also restated its commitment to maintaining Ireland's corporate tax rate at 12.5pc.
It also said that it would continue to monitor indirect taxes with a view to minimising any cross-Border anomalies with Northern Ireland.
The Government has said it would also use tax incentives "in limited circumstances where there are market failures", where it considers such incentives would be more efficient than investing directly in that area. It said it would also bolster tax law and administration to tackle non-compliance and aggressive tax avoidance so as to support fairness.
All tax expenditure is now to be subjected to time limits.
Fianna Fail's finance spokesman Michael McGrath denounced the document as being severely "lacking in detail".