Ireland’s Overall Tax Take Remains Inadequate

Posted on Friday, 10 November 2023
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Data accompanying Budget 2024 outlines Government’s plans for taxation and spending over the next 4 years (to 2026). Over that period, assuming the policies signalled by Government are followed, overall tax receipts will climb from €85.57bn in 2023 to €102.6bn in 2026.

While the impact of the cost-of-living means that Budget 2024 has been framed in a period of continued uncertainty, it is a regret that it did not provide a more strategic perspective on the long-term direction of fiscal policy ignoring a clear message from the recent Commission on Taxation and Welfare.

The bumper and unexpected corporation tax gains of recent years highlight the unsustainable nature of a large part of our tax revenue; money that has generally been spent over recent years and has allowed the political system to avoid engagement with the reality of how inadequate our sustainable tax base is.

Social Justice Ireland believes that over the next few years policy should focus on increasing Ireland’s sustainable tax take. Simply, an increase in Ireland’s overall level of taxation is unavoidable in the years to come; even to maintain pre-pandemic levels of public services and supports more revenue will need to be collected. Consequently, an increase in the tax take is a question of how, rather than if, and we believe it should be of a scale appropriate to maintain current public service provisions while providing the resources to build a better society. In other publications we have outlined the details of our proposals.

Our full Budget 2024 analysis is available now: Budget 2024 Analysis and Critique | Social Justice Ireland

As a policy objective, Ireland should remain a low-tax economy, but not one incapable of adequately supporting necessary economic, social and infrastructural requirements. We regret that Budget 2024 made limited progress on this issue.