Noonan pledges to ease tax burden on workers

Minister reiterates intention to take more hard-pressed workers out of higher band

Fiach Kelly reports from the launch of the Fine Gael local election manifesto. The party is running 458 candidates, and Taoiseach and party leader Enda Kenny hopes that 350 can be successful. Video: Bryan O'Brien


Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has reiterated his intention to take more average income earners out of the higher tax band.

Speaking at this morning’s Fine Gael local election manifesto launch, Mr Noonan again said he will adjust the tax bands in the October budget, if resources allow him.

“On an income of €32,800, people go on the higher rate of income tax so it is a priority of the Government to address that and to lift that figure and whatever resources we have available over the next two Budgets, we will do that and I hope we will be able to start the job in the Budget in mid-October,” he said.

Last Month, Mr Noonan insisted easing the tax burden on hard-pressed middle-income earners was not incompatible with the planned €2 billion adjustment required to achieve the troika-agreed deficit target of 3 per cent in 2015.

However, his own department’s recent Stability Pact Update, which included the Government’s fiscal forecasts for the year, suggests he will have little wriggle room come budget day.

Mr Noonan also revealed today that tax revenues for April - due to be released in tomorrow’s exchequer returns - rose by 9 per cent compared to the same month last year.

In addition, he said income tax receipts for last month were up 6.5 per cent on the same month last year.

Up until now, the recent surge in employment growth has not delivered the expected increase in income tax receipts.