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Minimum wage earners back in tax net from May 1st

12 April, 2005


Sinn Féin Employment spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD while welcoming today's announcement that the minimum wage would be increased to €7.65 from May 1st, has called on the Government to take measures to ensure that this doesn't mean those on the minimum wage re-enter the tax net.

Deputy Morgan said, "I welcome the increase in the minimum wage and the acceptance by the Government of the Labour Courts ruling on this issue.

"During the announcement of the Budget last year there was much fanfare from the Minister for Finance regarding the fact that minimum wage earners were being taken out of the tax net. As we predicated would happen, even this relatively small increase in the minimum wage brings those on the minimum wage back into the tax net.

"We are calling on the government to introduce supplementary measures to ensure that this 65cent an hour increase is also exempted from tax.

"Before budget 2005 those on the minimum wage were paying €280 tax per years based on a 39 hour week. In line with the budget announcement that minimum wage earners were being exempted from the tax net they were paying nothing since January 1st. However from 1st May they will be paying tax of €252.84 a year based on a 39 hour week. This means that minimum wage earners gained an average of a measly €27.16 a year from the much heralded budget announcement last December.

"Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to keep minimum wage earners out of the tax net." ENDS

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