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Lightweight Finance Bill does not meet Ireland’s revenue needs

4 February, 2010

Responding to the publication of the Finance Bill Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan said, “We had a lightweight tax budget and this is a lightweight finance bill – it will not provide the revenue the country needs to dig itself out of recession”.

Deputy Morgan criticised the Bill’s contents saying it went after small ticket items like tax reliefs on bin charges, but left large-scale revenue losers like mortgage interest relief for landlords alone.

Deputy Morgan said:

“The country’s finances are in an unprecedented crisis and we needed a budget last December that recognised that and started to raise the revenue to address it. Instead we got a lightweight tax budget and this is now a lightweight finance bill. The government’s decision to cut us out of recession rather than raise revenue and stimulate the economy is not working and will not work. This should have been an opportunity to bring fairness to the taxation system and address some of the anomalies that cost the state billions each year.

“For example, this Bill abolishes tax reliefs on service charges but leaves alone mortgage interest relief for landlords. It introduces a tax exile levy, but does not deal with tax exile status. There is no redrawing of the tax system to make it fairer for low income earners and to make sure higher earners pay their proper share. Where is the wealth tax, or the abolition of the PRSI ceiling?

“This bill does not go after the heavy hitters sufficiently and in a way that reflects the seriousness of the situation we face. It is merely ticking the boxes – not actually addressing the public finance shortfall.

“The decision to abolish tax reliefs for service charges will punish low income families disproportionately. It is clear that the Government is determined to continue targeting this group to pay for its economic mess.” ENDS

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