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An Páirtí Daonlathach

Minister defends PDs' tax policies

An Páirtí Daonlathach 35%

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THE TAX policies of the Progressive Democrats while in government were defended yesterday by the party’s former leader, Minister for Health Mary Harney.

The National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 published yesterday said: “We have eroded the income tax base to an unsustainable level. This must be rectified if revenue-raising capacity and fairness are to be restored.”

 

Asked if the fact that many people were allowed to fall outside the tax net was an indictment of PD policy, she said: “No, the policy of the government was to keep everyone on the minimum wage and low income out of the tax net in order to have an incentive for people to work.”

She said the policies pursued had resulted in about one million more people at work now than in the 1980s. She said even in the national recovery plan published yesterday, the increased taxes on work are being kept to a minimum. “It’s an average of about €20 a week and I wish we didn’t have to do that.

 

“The lower you keep taxes on work the more you incentivise people to work . . . but clearly the lower taxes that have operated in this economy have generated the kind of employment growth that we’ve seen where we’ve almost one million more people working now as opposed to the middle of the 1980s for example.”

She stressed while there was a lot of emphasis on negatives a lot had been achieved.

 

“Our living standards are going to drop back to about, in terms of tax take, 2006 and spending 2007. We certainly weren’t a poor country then. We are still one of the richest countries in the world.”

We have a major problem with our banks though and we have a problem in terms of our tax base, she said.

 

Transient taxes, particularly the revenue from property, was used to grow public spending in an unsustainable way and therefore when that tax plummeted, we still had the spending that was implicated “and that’s why the €19 billion deficit is here and that was an error”, she added.

 

EITHNE DONNELLAN, Health Correspondent<. p>

 

 

November 25, 2010

Source: www.irishtimes.com

08.02.2011


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