Time for a rethink on VAT?


Sir, – I echo the sentiments of Sr Stanislaus Kennedy (July 13th ) in her hope that Joan Burton’s leadership will influence the Government’s policy on homelessness.

In addition to this, may I suggest to the Tánaiste a radical budget proposal? Reduce the top rate of VAT (which is a sales tax) from 23 per cent to 10 per cent. Yes, the Minister for Finance would be nervous (but popular); yes, the Department of Finance would not welcome such risk-taking with their income stream and would probably object. However, the knock-on effect would be powerful – more disposable income for all would result in an increase in demand across multiple sectors.

This in turn would mean more staff being employed, with the happy result of a reduction in the Live Register.

Such an adjustment to this punitively high VAT rate could make the difference from being able to pay your electricity bill to, at the other end of the scale, being able to go for both the black and the brown Manolos. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.