Budget: Sinn Féin proposes wealth tax and high income levy

Party proposes to spend €3.4 billion more than the € 2.8 billion of the Government

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty launched its alternative budget document on Thursday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty launched its alternative budget document on Thursday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

Sinn Féin has proposed a battery of new taxes including a wealth tax and a high income levy to fund its ‘Brexit’ Budget which proposes to spend €3.4 billion more than the € 2.8 billion of the Government.

The party’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty launched its alternative budget document on Thursday. In a clear signal the party is positioning itself firmly to the left, it argued for new taxes on high earners and high net worth individuals in a package that would increase revenue by €2 billion. The party’s finance spokesman said its budget would be balanced and Brexit-ready.

The centre-piece of the party’s budget is a Brexit stabilisation fund of €2 billion.

It has proposed two free GP visits to every person in the state without a medical card or a GP card; an emergency rent freeze; and tax relief to renters equal to one month of their rental costs.

It has also pledged to more investment in childcare to improve the pay and conditions of childcare workers and reduce fees for parents.

“We will take on the broken insurance system. We would allocate the funding necessary for our citizens with disabilities to experience real equality and prioritise tackling child poverty. We will put people first.

“All of this can be achieved with a balanced Budget or in the context of a no-deal Brexit,” it promises.

To fund this large increase in spending, the party proposes to target the wealthiest in the State (0.25 per cent of the population) with a one per cent tax on the portion of their wealth over €1 million.

It has also proposed a 5 per cent high income levy on individual incomes over €140,000. It has proposed to taper out tax credits for those earning over €100,000 but less than €140,000.

It also has put forward a hike in employer’s PRSI of 5 per cent for employees earning salaries of over €100,000.

It has proposed a 50 cent increase on cigarettes, an increase in the capital acquisitions tax by 3 per cent, to bring the rate to 36 per cent and a new major tax on intangible assets “onshored” by multinationals. The latter measure would yield an additional €722 million per annum, it has said.

Capital Gains Tax exemption for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) would be abolished and a new stamp duty rate of 10 per cent wold be introduced for commercial property, it has said.

On its Brexit proposals, Mr Doherty said: “Sinn Féin has allocated significant investment for the agri-food sector, vulnerable SMEs (exporting and non-exporting), protecting north-south trade on the island of Ireland, and the tourism industry.”

The party has said it would not increase carbon taxes, and would also start moving to abolish student fees in third level institutions.