No scope in Budget for significant tax cuts - Hayes

Minister says aim is to avoid tax increases

There is no scope in the forthcoming Budget for significant income tax cuts, Minister of State at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes has said.  Photograph : Matt Kavanagh / The Irish Times

There is no scope in the forthcoming Budget for significant income tax cuts, Minister of State at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes has said. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh / The Irish Times

 

There is no scope in the forthcoming Budget for significant income tax cuts, Minister of State at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes has said.

He said in the current circumstances in which the Government had to make savings of about €3 billion, the aim was to ensure no increase in taxes.

“I think it is going to be difficult in this budgetary round for any significant reduction in income tax, given the financial position that we face, in the circumstances where we have to find around €3 billion.”

The Sunday Business Post reported yesterday that Ministers had been told in the first budgetary memorandum to be presented to the Cabinet that there was scope to reduce the scale of the planned financial adjustments for next year from €3 billion to €2 billion. This follows on from the savings generated from the deal on the Anglo Irish promissory note.

It reported that Ministers were given four possible options in the budgetary strategy memorandum for 2014.

These were to use all of the proceeds of the promissory note deal to reduce the budget package, paying off debt, using the money to pay for a stimulus package or a mixture of all of these.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin were resisting calls from some Cabinet colleagues for tax cuts in the Budget.

Last week the Minister for Enterprise and Jobs Richard Bruton suggested that the Government needed to look at reducing the tax burden for middle income families as soon as possible.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has defended welfare spending at current levels and has urged consideration of increase in the minimum wage .