Wednesday 24 January 2018

Trump promises 'biggest US tax revolution since Reagan'

Donald Trump makes his tax speech last night Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Donald Trump makes his tax speech last night Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Nick Allen

Donald Trump promised to jumpstart the US economy with the "biggest tax revolution since Ronald Reagan" in the 1980s, saying he would "make America grow again".

Setting out an "America first" economic vision during a speech in Detroit last night, the billionaire promised a slew of tax cuts for companies and working families, a "massive" reduction in red tape, and a fundamental overhaul of international trade deals.

In a direct appeal to female voters, and an attempt to outflank his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump also pledged to allow families to deduct the entire average cost of childcare from their taxes, saying it would not be an "economic disadvantage to have children".

However, Mr Trump was interrupted by protesters, mostly women, around a dozen separate times during his speech.

The Republican presidential nominee said that he would make the US a "magnet for investment" by cutting corporation tax from 35pc to 15pc - in a move that could have implications for US multinational investment in Ireland - and "remove bureaucrats who only know how to kill jobs".

Under his plan, income taxes would be simplified. Mr Trump's previously stated highest rate had been 25pc, but he said "the rich will have to pay their fair share" and that many workers would have a zero rate.

The Republican presidential nominee also said he would abolish death taxes and bolster domestic energy production, which could bring in an extra $6 trillion (€5.4 trillion) in revenue over four decades.

US companies with operations abroad would be encouraged to bring back profits at a reduced tax rate, which would help "unleash the economy".

Mr Trump would also revive the Keystone pipeline project from Canada to the US, which the Obama administration rejected last year.

His speech was delivered at the Detroit Economic Club in a city that became the symbol for America's manufacturing decline.

It came after latest figures showed that the US economy grew only 1.2pc in the second quarter of 2016, far less than had been anticipated.

Mr Trump was seeking to reset his campaign after a disastrous week when he fell up to 15 points behind Mrs Clinton in polls. He accused Mrs Clinton of "stale, big-government policy prescriptions that have choked economic growth in America and led to over 40 years of wage stagnation".

Mrs Clinton will speak about the economy, also in Detroit, on Thursday. Her campaign said 'Trumponomics' would result in nearly 3.5 million fewer jobs and push the economy into a "prolonged recession".

Mr Trump's plan was an updated version of one he put forward late last year.

At the time, independent experts claimed his proposed tax cuts would increase the national debt by as much as $10 trillion over the next decade.

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