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Financial Resolution No. 14: Capital Acquisitions Tax

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Financial Resolution No. 14: Capital Acquisitions Tax

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Financial Resolution No. 14: Capital Acquisitions Tax

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Snippet Contents:

Despite the attempts by certain people on the other side of the House to caricature this side, we take these issues seriously, considering the detail as much as possible in the short time available. I have a concern but I am unsure what to do about it given that, broadly speaking, these are progressive measures. Some of the increases do not distinguish between the small and big saver. I know the vast majority of people who will be affected by these increases in tax will be people who have plenty of money to save, and the people we wish to protect or give relief to do not have much in the way of savings these days. Broadly speaking, these resolutions are right. There are ordinary people with relatively modest amounts of savings, and it is unfortunate that they will get caught in what is a broadly progressive measure. The Government should think about it.
There is a more marginal point. We are a country with a high degree of home ownership, although in a way different from much of the rest of Europe. There is a difference in the way property is passed to the next generation when it is not necessarily about passing on significant amounts of wealth. Although it may not be done now, we should examine the process of imposing taxes on capital gains and acquisitions, as well as taxes on savings.
I will not labour the point but the Government could have gone much further in going after the major inequalities. It is fair to say everything could have been costed by the Department of Finance. As the new people on the block, we thought the parliamentary question process was the way to get information from the Department of Finance. That is how we got some of our information. There was nothing amateur or half-hearted about our efforts in putting together our document. Most of it stands up to scrutiny. The income tax element has been taken directly from a spreadsheet provided by the Department; when the effective tax rate is adjusted, the relevant figures pop up on the screen. It is very interesting and Deputies should look at it. I thank the Department of Finance for that information.
It would not have helped to have the issue of corporation tax costed because the Minister for Finance told us it was too complicated to calculate. That is not much of an answer to our first question. A second question asked for the bands of the different levels of profits of companies, and it was only then that we got the figures to show how much gross pre-tax income of companies was available, how much tax was paid and the various allowances that facilitated the taxable amount to be written down. The response that the process was too complicated was not satisfactory.