Noonan hints that USC may be here to stay

Noonan hints that USC may be here to stay

Michael Noonan has hinted that the Universal Social Charge might never be abolished.

The Minister says the charge brings in too much money, and that it is easier to change than income taxes.

The Universal Social Charge - which was cut for lower earners yesterday, but raised for higher ones - is responsible for around a quarter of all income tax.

Although the Government has now floated the idea of reversing some other financial measure - like the private pension levy, or pay cuts for public workers - it seems the charge will be staying.

Last night the Finance Minister said he had no plans to merge the charge with the straightforward income tax, saying that it is actually more "flexible" than income taxes are.

He said the charge was designed to be easier to change, so it is much more simple to increase rates for higher earners in the social charge, than it is to raise the income tax.

He also said that a tax which brings in more than €4bn is difficult to scrap, suggesting that while other relics from the crisis might eventually be scrapped, Universal Social Charge is here to stay.

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