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Gross misrepresentation of Sinn Féin by Minister McDowell says Ó Caoláin

5 December, 2003

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has pointed out a gross misrepresentation in the Dáil this morning by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Minister McDowell stated that Sinn Féin sought to increase the top rate of taxation to 50%. It was said quite deliberately to give the impression that all who are paying the current top rate of 42% would pay 50%. This is completely and calculatedly false. We have called for a new top rate of 50% for people with an income of over E100,000 per annum. We are calling for this band to ensure that the highest paid will contribute their fair share.

"It is Minister McDowell and his colleagues who have in this Budget pushed some 60,000 more ordinary workers into the top rate of 42%.

"Minister McDowell and his party are the best friends of the super-rich whom they have rewarded again and again in every Budget since 1997. That they have to indulge in gross misrepresentations and falsehoods of this kind is ample illustration of the bankruptcy of their policies."

Relevant extract from Sinn Fein Pre-Budget Submission:

"Sinn Féin proposes that the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners investigate the formulation of a super tax on the highest earners. This should happen in tandem with the elimination of tax avoidance measures which they enjoy and which are out of reach of the average worker. We propose a new 50% tax band for individual income in excess of E100,000."

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