Taxpayers' P60s could include State spending website link, says Noonan

Sat, Nov 10, 2012, 00:00

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has suggested that P60s might in future contain a website reference outlining in detail how taxpayers’ money is being spent.

“Taxpayers would then be in a position to assess what value for money they get from the payment of their taxes,” he said.

The Minister was responding in the Dáil yesterday to the Private Members’ Tax Transparency Bill 2012, introduced by Dublin South East Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy.

The Bill proposes that taxpayers be supplied with an annual statement detailing how much they paid in the previous year and how it contributed to Government spending priorities.

Mr Murphy said the statement, whether delivered online or by post, would resemble an itemised receipt detailing the taxpayer’s contribution to different areas of spending.

He added that agreeing to pay a proportion of one’s salary into a central fund in the form of tax was a cornerstone of the social contract.

“It follows, then, that we have a right to know how the Government is spending our taxes, and it has a responsibility to tell us,” Mr Murphy added.

Mr Noonan said he saw a lot of merit in Mr Murphy’s proposals, but logistical difficulties would arise in providing the information he sought. The Minister added that, in general terms, the Bill should be considered further by the Oireachtas and the Government would not oppose it at yesterday’s second stage. “Certainly, a better-informed public and better-informed taxpayers enhance democracy,” Mr Noonan added.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said his party supported the Bill’s second stage and wanted the committee stage debated quickly.

“People already receive the annual P60 form, so they see the amount of income tax, the universal social charge and PRSI on an annual basis,” he added.

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said his party would support the Bill.