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Policy issues concerning Taxation

A low tax-take is not justified in a wealthy society. With new all-time highs in household wealth levels, government should take the opportunity to raise the resources needed to build a fair and just society.

Social Justice Ireland publishes its annual Socio-Economic Review today, and calls for an increase in Ireland's overall tax take of €3bn. This must be the first step on the path to funding a fairer and more equal society. The Government needs to raise additional annual tax revenue far in excess of current levels if we are to acheive this.

Social Justice Ireland recommends a Minimum Effective Rate of 6 per cent. This would only affect companies who are currently availing of effective rates lower than that on a regular basis; something that is quite unacceptable.

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. 

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