PUBLIC debate in the days and weeks leading to budget day is traditionally enlivened by Government figures floating ideas they are unsure of or ones they want to generate more support for. This year is no exception.
Yesterday, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor suggested that a lower tax rate might be offered to Irish immigrants working abroad in an effort to entice them home.
The idea seems worthy and deserves consideration but one element of it hardly rings true or suggests that Government is ready to help all Irish people once forced to emigrate to come home. The proposal is aimed at those earning above €75,000 in “specialist” jobs in medicine, science, IT or finance.
That seems unfair and if this proposal is to move beyond a discussion point, then that céad míle fáilte home tax break should be extended to all Irish emigrants once in their lifetime and for a defined period. Repatriating a family from, say, Canada, is a huge expense and if a measure like this can ease that burden, it can easily be supported.
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