Government urged to hit high earners in budget

An equality think-tank has piled more pressure on the Government to target highearners in the upcoming budget.

Tasc said the State needs to close the gap between people on high and lowincomes with major tax reforms.

Director Nat O’Connor pointed to recent claims from the IMF that it had underestimated how the Irish economy would perform under strict austerity measures.

“The next three budgets are not just about bringing taxation and public spending into line, they involve decisions that will shape Irish society for years to come,” said Dr O’Connor, at the launch of Tasc’s pre-budget submission.

“We need to envisage the kind of society we want and begin to plan what role public services will play in contributing to the quality of life for everyone living in Ireland.”

Dr O’Connor said that if Ireland wants to achieve Western European standards of public services and welfare supports, the Government needs to make major reforms to the tax system to pay for it.

The independent think-tank said the Government could reach its target of €3.5bn in December’s budget by introducing an equitable model of property tax, which is based on ability to pay.

It also suggested reforming pension tax reliefs that benefit high earners, and increasing the Universal Social Charge and social insurance charged on salaries over €100,000.

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