Left group advocates higher taxes for wealthy
Socialist approach:Three new tax bands for high earners and a wealth tax on those with assets in excess of €1 million are among the ideas advanced by the United Left Alliance. The group also wants to see an end to bondholder repayments and the universal social charge abolished for workers on low incomes.
Full control should be taken of bailed-out banks and a complete writedown of mortgages in distress should be allowed, added the group. The tax bands would begin at 50 per cent tax on earnings of more than €100,000, 60 per cent on earnings above €150,000 and 70 per cent on earnings beyond €200,000.
A wealth tax would be applied at 5 per cent on those with assets worth more than €1 million, excluding the family home.
The money recouped from these additional taxes would balance the shortfall for abolishing the universal social charge for those earning less than €40,000 a year and a reduction from 7 per cent to 3.5 per cent for those earning between €40,000 and €70,000.
Other levies and cuts over recent years should also be reversed. These include the household charge, cuts to disability and mental health services, cuts to rent supplement and fuel allowance and rises in third-level registration fees.
The total extra costs involved in reversing these cuts and charges would be €2.9 billion, said the alliance.
Suspending the €3 billion in annual payments to Anglo Irish Bank and the estimated €17.4 billion to bondholders in Bank of Ireland, AIB and other banks next year would free up money to cover these reversals.
It would also allow a stimulus to the economy which would create 180,000 jobs.
The Coalition should agree to the EU proposal for a financial transaction tax which would raise between €490 million and €730 million. Companies should be forced to pay a minimum corporation tax rate of 12.5 per cent, a figure which exists only nominally, said the alliance . Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins said the submission was a “left and socialist approach to resolving the horrific crisis”.