Ictu proposes new tax on wealth


THE IRISH Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) has proposed measures which it has said could raise up to €2.3 billion in revenue for the Government.

It said that this revenue could be raised largely from high income earners, especially those who paid lower effective tax rates than many taxpayers as well as from unearned wealth and gains which were now subject to lower taxation than incomes.

Speaking at the launch of Ictu’s pre-budget submission yesterday, general secretary David Begg said new taxes on wealth “could generate substantial new resources for the State”.

He said: “We no longer have the luxury of maintaining the fiction that all the wealth in this country has suddenly evaporated. It has not, and in the interests of wider society it must be pursued and taxed.”

Ictu has proposed that there should be a temporary minimum tax of 35 per cent on high earners – defined as those earning over €100,000 per year – who were availing of tax shelters and avoidance schemes provided by the Government.

It also proposed a new levy on corporate income of 2 per cent which it said would generate €614 million in 2010.

It also said that a “hard drive” on uncollected taxes could yield €350 million – €450 million next year while it also maintained that a rise in the Dirt tax rate to 30 per cent would raise an additional €125 million.

Ictu also maintained that a clampdown on tax evasion could generate up to €400 million. It said measures to make tax exiles pay tax in Ireland could generate €50 million to €60 million.

Ictu said that it was opposed to the taxation of low earners, opposed to reductions in social welfare and said that the Government needed to be careful in relation to cuts in capital expenditure.