Carbon and company tax proposed for ‘socially fair budget’

An airline ticket tax and other carbon taxes, an increased betting tax, and setting a minimum rate of corporation tax, feature among the proposals of advocacy group Social Justice Ireland in its proposals for October’s budget.

Director Seán Healy told a media briefing the proposals were part of an investment in communities to ensure an “economically sound and socially fair” budget.

On carbon and environmental taxes, its proposals include an increase of €10 a tonne on CO2 emissions to help retrofit the insulation of homes; “equalising” the excise duty on petrol and diesel; the introduction of a €210m airplane tax to help change the behaviour of airlines and passengers; and the levying of 15c on single-use coffee cups to raise €96m.

Its “sustainability and environmental” package of investments of €1bn is aimed at getting Government to frame an entire carbon policy “and not just one piece”, Social Justice Ireland said. On corporation tax, it wants an effective minimum rate of 6%, saying the tax would raise €1bn in additional revenue a year and would be an acknowledgment that Ireland will in time have to introduce the tax anyway.

On housing, the group estimates that 120,000 additional homes are needed to provide the demand for social housing, as well as for people in long-term arrears on their mortgages. It said the housing assistance payment, or Hap, effectively are payments to private landlords and is “unsustainable”, and it seeks an overhaul in the private insolvency system brought in at the depth of the crash that it claims is part of a system “creating industries out of people’s misery”.

Investments in Sláintecare and disability, as well as funding alcohol addiction and obesity prevention programmes would be part an investment of €1.1bn in 2020.

It wants investments in rural Ireland for transport and “smart towns” on the basis that the “people most affected by Brexit do not live in Dublin”.

Other tax proposals include an increase in all shop and online betting tax to 3%, to bring in an additional €150m in revenue. And it seeks to increase to 35% from 30% the minimum effective tax rate for earners on more than €400,000, to bring in an additional €15m.

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