Saturday 16 December 2017

Siptu boss slams IBEC over tax calls

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

SIPTU President Jack O’Connor has attacked employers for calling for the tax targets in the forthcoming Budget to be reduced.

IBEC, which represents the country’s employers, has called in its pre-Budget submission for €500m of planned tax hikes in the Budget to be dropped.

Its call for no new taxes would include the Government’s planned capping of tax relief for pensions worth over €60,000 – which is due to bring in €250m.

SIPTU president Jack O’Connor criticised the IBEC’s submission, saying that measures to tax the better-off should be kept in the Budget.

“This is nothing more than a thinly camouflaged attempt to insulate the better off from tax commitments that are already scheduled, while inflicting more misery on the less well off,” he said.

IBEC has argued in its pre-Budget submission that the Government should cut the Budget target from €3.1bn to €2.6bn by eliminating its plan to get extra tax revenue.

Its chief executive Danny McCoy said that the economy and workers were already taxed enough – and called for the Budget target to be met by public sector spending cuts instead.

“The remaining adjustment should be made by growing the economy and reducing public expenditure. We continue to spend more than we can afford,” he said.

IBEC also wants the Government to retain the lower VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector – which was dropped from 13.5pc to 9pc two years ago to encourage activity there. It is due to expire at the end of this year.

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