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McDonald welcomes Fianna Fáil acknowledgement of inequity in tax system

16 April, 2007


Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has welcomed Fianna Fáil's acknowledgement of the need to reform the taxation system. Responding the launch of Fianna Fáil's economic policy document in which that party admits there is inequity in the taxation system Ms. McDonald said Sinn Féin in Government would immediately lower the tax burden on low and average income earners and remove unfair tax advantages for the wealthy.

Ms. McDonald said, "For ten years there has been unprecedented revenue available to the Government. They have had the ability and the resources to deal effectively with poverty and inequality. They have the resources to deliver an end to the crisis in the health service, to build social and affordable housing and to provide a decent education system. The sad fact is that they chose not to do so.

"I welcome the fact that Fianna Fáil has now acknowledged inequity in the tax system.

"Sinn Féin has been calling for a reform of the taxation system for a long time. We want to see tax justice in Ireland. We believe that people should pay according to their ability to pay and that everyone should have equal access to the highest quality public services, infrastructure and social protections.

"In Government Sinn Féin would immediately lower the tax burden on low and average income earners and remove unfair tax advantages for the wealthy. Our initial priorities will be to stop tax breaks for private for profit hospital developers, increase the minimum wage to 60% of the average industrial wage and keep those earning it out of the tax net. We will ensure that all those on the average industrial wage are in the standard tax band, increase mortgage tax relief for first time buyers and aggressively close down the remaining tax avoidance schemes and go after tax evaders. We will remove all tax exemptions other than where the social and economic value outweighs the cost to the exchequer like for example in Research and Development, and we would end tax exile status." ENDS

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