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Budget Choices

Some income tax proposals currently being considered by Government should be rejected because they would give far greater benefit to people earning higher incomes while giving nothing to lower income employees according to a new study conducted by Social Justice Ireland.

Social Justice Ireland policy briefing Budget Choices 2015 outlines a fully costed alternative budget and presents a series of proposals for Budget 2015 that would see Ireland’s borrowing reduced to below 3% of GDP, make the tax system fairer, protect public services, protect vulnerable people and invest in Ireland's social infrastructure.

       Government should increase basic social welfare rates and PAYE tax credits by €5 in Budget 2014

This is essential because the value of basic social welfare payments has fallen when measured against average weekly earnings across all employment sectors since the downturn began.  The Old Age Pension system should be replaced with a universal pension paid at the current rate of the Contributory Old Age Pension.

Social Justice Ireland Policy Briefing on Budget Choices 2014 sets out a fully-costed set of proposals.

BUDGET 2014 should end cuts, meet borrowing target and introduce a minimum corporate tax rate, while protecting the working poor.’

It argues that:

  • The current approach to resolving Ireland’s series of crises is not working.
  • This situation has been exacerbated by the Government’s protection of the rich at the expense of the rest of us.
  • Budget 2013 should provide a major investment programme and protect public services.

Child Benefit should not be reduced. There are other choices Government could make that would be fairer and more equitable. Government should stop protecting the rich at the expense of the rest of us e.g. protecting gambling banks and bondholders at the expense of the Irish tax-payer. 

Social Justice Ireland believes a fairer future is possible and deliverable. It is crucial however that Government’s decisions and the terms of the bailout agreement with the IMF/ECB/EC should be focused on delivering such an outcome. These were key fundamentals for Budget 2012 presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform by Social Justice Ireland on November 2, 2011.