ULA proposes new wealth tax
Three new tax bands for high earners and a wealth tax on people with assets over €1 million are among the ideas put forward by the United Left Alliance for next week’s budget.
The group also wants to see an end to bondholder repayments and the universal social charge abolished for low income earners.
Full control should be taken of bailed out banks and a full write-down of mortgages in distress should be allowed, the group added.
The new tax bands would begin at 50 per cent tax on earnings over €100,000, 60 per cent tax on earnings over €150,000 and 70 per cent on earnings over €200,000.
A wealth tax would involve a 5 per cent tax on people with assets worth over €1 million, excluding the family home.
The money recouped from these new taxes would make up 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 taxes and cuts announced over recent years should be also reversed, including the household charge, the cuts to disability and mental health services, cuts to rent supplement and fuel allowance and increases in third level registration fees.
The total extra costs involved in reversing these cuts and charges would be €2.9 billion, the group said.
Suspending the €3 billion in annual payments to Anglo Irish Bank and the estimated €17.4 billion in payment 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 Government 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 at present, the group said.
Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins said the budget submission was a “left and socialist approach to resolving the horrific crisis”.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said austerity so far had been a “catastrophic failure” and the proposal was a way of protecting vulnerable citizens.