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Policy issues concerning Taxation

Some tax proposals currently being considered by Government should be rejected because they would give far greater benefit to people earning higher incomes than to lower income employees according to a new study conducted by Social Justice Ireland.

Social Justice Ireland's work on developing a Universal Basic Income for Ireland was acknowledged by Noel Whelan in his op-ed article in The Irish Times on September 15, 2017.

The current approach to housing policy in Ireland is not working; the private sector will never build social housing units on the scale required.  Government must commit to building sufficient social housing units to eliminate the current housing waiting list.  This is the only way to address Ireland’s ongoing housing and homelessness crisis.  This is a key finding of Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2017.

Ireland’s social contract is broken.  The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met.  This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.  2017 is the first year of a new century for Ireland and now is the perfect opportunity to develop a new and radical social contract for Ireland’s second century. 

As Ireland faces into a very new international reality on taxation it is essential that tax policy priorities be adjusted to ensure three outcomes: (i) that the overall tax-take is increased appropriately, (ii) that the tax-base is broadened and (iii) that a fairer taxation system is developed.  Government should raise the overall tax take by three percentage points by 2021.  Social Justice Ireland estimates that a three percentage point increase in the overall tax take would provide an average yield of €9 billion per annum in additional taxation revenue.

Economic recovery has yet to be experienced by large numbers of people in Europe.  Many remain excluded as they continue to lose out in employment, education, healthcare, poverty and related services.  This is undermining the confidence many people had in the European project because they see the EU constantly giving priority to economic issues ahead of social challenges.

Some tax proposals currently being considered by Government should be rejected because they would give far greater benefit to people earning higher incomes than to lower income employees.  While there should be no net reduction in tax in Budget 2017, a study conducted by Social Justice Ireland, published today, shows that the impact of some proposals currently being considered would be profoundly unfair because they would favour only those with higher incomes. 

There will be nearly 1 million people aged 65 and over by 2031 – an increase of 86.4 per cent.  Of these 136,000 will be aged 85 or over by 2031, an increase of 132.8 per cent.  Now is the time to plan Ireland’s investment in services and infrastructure. This is one of the key issues highlighted in the National Social Monitor 2016.

Without the social welfare system almost 50 per cent of the Irish population would have been living in poverty in 2014.  Adequate social welfare payments are required to prevent an increase in poverty.  Between 2010 and early 2016 inflation was 3.44 per cent - implying that a buying power of €188 in 2010 was equivalent to €194.50 by February 2016. 

The Knowledge Development Box (KDB) policy now being considered by the Department of Finance is proposing to offer preferential effective tax rate(s) to income generated from intellectual property and patents under the premise of nurturing innovation, encouraging companies to locate high-value jobs in Ireland, and promoting economic growth.

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