Taoiseach sets out election stall with tax cut pledges

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised more income tax cuts are on the way and the marginal rate for high earners will fall below 50% if the Government is re-elected.

Looking to next year’s budget, he pledged the Government would reduce the rate for middle-income workers in October. His comments come just a day after he told members of his own party that there would be no early general election and that the Government would see out its full term until the spring of 2016.

Addressing the American Chamber of Commerce yesterday, he referred to the recent budget, and said that tax changes were specifically targeted at low and middle-income workers who pay high tax rates at very modest income levels.

Speaking to guests at the chamber’s Thanksgiving Day lunch in the Four Seasons Hotel, he said the marginal rate of tax on earnings below €70,000 would be cut from 52% to 51%, from January following the budget.

But he added: “In the budget next October, we will reduce the rate of tax on middle-income workers to at most, 50%, and will reduce the rate of income tax further in subsequent budgets if re-elected.”

His referral to the marginal rate includes when PRSI and the Universal Social Charge are added to income taxes.

His comments to the chamber are a clear indication the Coalition is firmly in election mode.

He said the high rate of personal taxation in Ireland was something that had to be addressed if the country was to remain “internationally competitive”. Meanwhile, Mr Kenny said he had written to Barack Obama after the US president announced a lifting of restrictions on millions of illegal immigrants.

This will allow thousands of undeclared Irish immigrants to get temporary visas, work and to come home. He said: “I believe he showed the kind of leadership that will transform... lives.”


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