You are here

Tax cuts will hurt the old, the sick and the vulnerable

Social Justice Ireland has called on Finance Minister, Michael Noonan TD, to RAISE taxes and not reduce them in the Budget for 2016.  This is not the time for Tax-Cuts. All available resources should be used to invest in addressing Ireland’s major deficits, in areas such as caring, housing and poverty that affect the young, the old and most in between.

Social Justice Ireland is the only organisation outside Leinster House, which annually produces a fully-costed budget, within the parameters set by Government. For 2016, its proposals produce an increase in Expenditure, over Revenue, of €1.5 billion, as proposed by the Government, but it does this in a very different way.

In this detailed briefing document, Social Justice Ireland outlines a series of investment packages, and a corresponding series of tax reform proposals, for Budget 2016. 

Main Proposals

Investment Packages

  • Additional €680m to support the Social Housing Strategy, with new ‘Off Balance Sheet’ proposal to get access to low cost finance.
  • €350m investment in Health to support Primary Care Teams, with additional measures to support older people, Disability and to tackle Obesity.
  • A Social Welfare package including the introduction of a Universal Pension, combined with an increase of €6.50 per week in Social Welfare Payments.
  • €350m investment in Education including Adult Literacy, after school care and early childhood education.
  • A rural and regional investment of €710m for Broadband, Rural Transport and a Rural Enterprise Scheme.

Tax Reforms

  • Introduce a minimum effective corporate tax rate of 6%
  • Extend the USC levy of 3% to all income in excess of €100,000
  • Make Tax Credits refundable – to tackle the ‘working poor’ issue
  • Increase the PAYE credit by €6.50 per week to benefit all workers

Social Justice Ireland wants this country to have EU average levels of tax, with EU average levels of services and infrastructure - this is not the situation as it exists today.

After many years of coping with the financial downturn, we, as a nation, now need to consider what sort of a future we want for our children and our grand-children.  Social Justice Ireland believes that it is time for a new policy framework – one that recognises the need to increase taxes in line with the European average – these taxes will then fund the services that we need

Some of the decisions we take now, on issues like Social Housing, Childcare and Broadband, may not bear fruit for some years, yet it is vital that these good decisions are taken now, because these decisions will shape the way Ireland looks and functions in the future.

Whilst Minister Noonan is required to frame Budget 2016 within the parameters of the EU Stability and Growth Pact, this should not stop him from framing worthwhile, and overdue, investments in society, as well as the economy.

Budget Choices 2016 is available to download here.