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Finance Bill rewards the rich and punishes the vast majority of low and middle income citizens – Doherty

14 February, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking during the Second Stage Dáil debate on the Finance Bill 2012 Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that, “this is a Finance Bill that Charlie McCreevy would be proud of, a Finance Bill that rewards the rich and punishes the vast majority of low and middle income citizens.”

Deputy Doherty said:

“In two weeks time Fine Gael and Labour will have been in government for a full year. It will be remembered as a year of missed opportunities and broken promises.

“After all the promises of the election campaign; after all the detailed commitments outlined in the Programme for Government; the first twelve months of this coalition will be remembered not for what it achieved but for how badly it disappointed.

“Possibly the greatest disappointment, felt by hundreds of thousands of people, is how little different this Government is from its predecessors.

“The most outrageous proposal in this Finance Bill is the Special Assignee Relief Programme. It allows companies to bring in highly paid individuals from outside the state and have their tax liability on earnings between €75,000 and €500,000 written off by 30%. This is the equivalent of approximately €127,500 tax free for the high end of this bracket.

“Over the five years of the period this benefit is allowed, that individual will earn up to €635,000 tax free.

“The Minister claims that this proposal is aimed at attracting individuals into the state for the purposes of creating jobs. However there is no requirement in the legislation for those availing of this massive tax break to create a single job.

“When I raised this issue last week the Minister urged me to read the Bill. I have re-read the Bill and there is no requirement for a single job to be created in order to avail of this tax break.

“Worse than this the tax break could be abused by companies seeking to downsize their operations in Ireland resulting in the loss of jobs.

“Fine Gael and Labour had a huge opportunity with this Bill to undo much of the damage done by Fianna Fail in recent years. Not only did they choose not to do this, they have made matters worse with increases on taxes and charges on low and middle income families.”

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