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Snippet Contents:

This budget and Finance Bill, like the Government's three earlier budgets, yet again increases the regressive and unfair nature of the taxation system. Those who claim we have a progressive tax system do so on the basis of a sleight of hand - when they refer to the tax system they exclusively mean income tax, the universal social charge and pay related social insurance, PRSI. This allows them to claim that a small number of high earners pay the bulk of taxation and that working people on low incomes and people in receipt of social welfare benefits pay no taxes. This is completely untrue and those who consciously peddle such ideas are spreading an untruth.
Examination of indirect taxes and consumption taxes such as VAT which accounts for 20% of the State's total tax take, along with various charges and services that are actually taxes, shows that the wealthiest families in Ireland pay out some 28% of their incomes in taxes. Meanwhile, using the same measurement, the poorest families also pay out 28% of their total incomes in taxes. This Government continually uses false arguments and the deliberate distortion of figures to make the Irish tax system increasingly regressive and to justify tax cuts which, of course, means cuts in income tax.
If we examine the cuts in income tax made in the budget and how they affect people with different levels of income it is immediately apparent that they are regressive in nature. Total income tax cuts in the budget amounted to €688 million and if they had been evenly applied they would have meant a gain of €405 per year for working families. However, the cuts were not evenly applied. A single worker on the living wage of €23,247 per year gained €173 per week in the budget while a worker on €80,000 per year gained €747, five times as much, from the tax cut.