Speaking at the launch of the party’s Wealth Tax Bill Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the government is faced with a straight choice next Wednesday between imposing the burden of the crisis on low and middle income families or ask those with substantial wealth to pay their fair share.
Deputy Doherty said;
“Next Wednesday the Government is faced with a straight choice. Will they continue to impose the burden of the crisis on low and middle income families or do will they ask those with substantial wealth to pay their fair share? Will they impose a property tax on struggling families or introduce a wealth tax on those with substantial assets.
“Across Europe countries struggling to reduce deficits and raise revenue for investment in public services and job creation are turning to wealth taxes.
“France, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland are just some of the countries that successfully operate wealth taxes. In France the socialist Government has recently strengthened its existing wealth tax legislation. In Spain the Conservative government has reintroduced its wealth tax.
“Sinn Féin has consistently argued for the introduction of a wealth tax. We believe that a 1% tax on net assets in excess of €1 million has the potential to yield up to €800 million.
“Our proposal is based on aspects of the taxes currently in operation in France and Sweden. It would charge a 1% tax on net assets in excess of €1,000,000. The tax would be self-assessed and would apply to individuals,
“All debts such as mortgages would be factored into the calculation. A range of exemptions are also in place including 20% of the family home and pension funds.
“The tax does not apply to business assets, investments or shares in private companies
“Those who are asset rich but income poor are would be exempt from the tax.
“Sinn Féin wants a tax system that is fair and that generates sufficient revenue to provide world class public services and on-going investment in sustainable economic growth.
“The Wealth Tax legislation we are publishing today if implemented would play a positive and progressive role not only in reforming our broken tax system but in the social and economic recovery of the state.
“It is our intention to table a private members motion on the issue at the soonest opportunity.”