Labour trio seek 48% tax on income over €100,000


TWO LABOUR TDs outside the parliamentary party and an MEP have claimed their pre-budget proposals could raise €1 billion annually for the Exchequer.

Patrick Nulty (Dublin West), Tommy Broughan (Dublin North East), both of whom are without the party whip in the Dáil, and Ireland East MEP Nessa Childers called for a series of taxation measures at a press conference in Dublin yesterday.

They want a wealth tax, a new 48 per cent tax rate for incomes over €100,000 and a financial transaction tax.

The three said there should be “a shift in thinking away from blunt austerity towards a pro-growth agenda based on a sustainable tax model’’.

Mr Nulty said that since 2008 €25 billion had been sucked out of the economy through cuts and taxes on ordinary people.

“This cannot continue, and it is time to tax wealth in Ireland,’’ he added.

Mr Nulty said a model for a wealth tax existed in France, where it was levied on households whose net worth, after loans, mortgages and debts were deducted, exceeded €800,000.

Couples, whether married or not, made a joint declaration and assets held by children below 18 years were also included, he said.

Mr Nulty said that applying the French model for tax in Ireland could raise up to €500 million annually.

“Such an approach would not only ensure the very wealthy in our society make some contribution to dealing with the deficit but would also demonstrate that tax justice must underpin economic policy in Ireland.’’

Mr Broughan said it was absolutely vital that those who had most paid most.

He recalled that in opposition Labour had called for the introduction of a new higher rate of tax on incomes over €100,000.

“This would raise €365 million a year which could be used to prevent vicious cuts in health and education,’’ he added.

“The Labour Party must demand that this budget brings in extra revenue without destroying the domestic economy.’’

Describing the proposed tax on financial institutions as a “bankers’ tax’’, Ms Childers said there was huge support for such a measure right across Europe.

“The tax is a core policy objective of the European social democratic movement and it is both necessary and important for Ireland to support a tax that asks bankers to pay something back to citizens,’’ she added.

Mr Nulty lost the whip when he opposed the last budget.

Mr Broughan suffered the same fate because of his opposition to extending the bank guarantee.

Ms Childers made it clear yesterday that she would not leave the parliamentary party if the proposals were not incorporated in the budget.

“This submission has some support within the parliamentary party,’’ she said.