Levy most dishonest tax increase ever seen

Labour leader in the Seanad, Senator Alex White, described the announcement in the Budget of the new levy on income tax as the most “dishonest tax increase ever seen”.

Speaking during the Order of Business, Senator White said: “The levy represents the crudest, most regressive and most dishonest tax increase ever seen.

“It is a tax increase, yet the Government dares not speak its name.

“Recently, the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, appeared to advocate higher taxes for the higher paid, the rich and the super rich, with which I agreed. He stated that he would try to achieve such in Government, in which respect I would have supported him. Regrettably, he did not achieve it.

“Let us face up to the taxation system and the dishonesty and unfairness therein. The Government appears to want to have it both ways.  The Government is telling us to leave the debate on tax to the Commission on Taxation next year. But it then introduces an aggressive tax, undermining any suggestion of equity,” said Senator White.

Senator White added that the Government appeared to have embraced the notion of performance-related pay.

“Members of the Government have taken 10 per cent cuts, presumably based on their performances in recent months. I hope that they will revert to the House in the coming months regarding proposals on the inevitable further cuts in pay that they will need to take. The ultimate cut that they should take is not 10 per cent or 20 per cent. Rather, it is 100 per cent.”