FG to make tax cuts ‘priority’ ahead of election, says Donohoe
Minister for Finance says Government to act once full impact of Brexit is known
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: ‘My expectation is there will be election in 2020, not this year.’ . Photograph: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg
Mr Donohoe said that once the full impact of Brexit is known, the Government will move to reduce the point at which people pay the higher rate of tax.
He said Fine Gael is still committed to increasing the point at which people pay the top rate of tax to €50,000.
It comes amidst speculation that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar may go to the country in November if there is a successful Brexit resolution.
Mr Donohoe said he does not believe, however, that there will be an election this year. “Budget 2020 is absolutely the right budget and the right economic strategy for Ireland given all the uncertainty that we are dealing with and given the uncertain status of Brexit at the moment,” Mr Donohoe said in Dublin on Wednesday.
“Once we are clear on where we are with Brexit and particularly if we do succeed in getting an agreement in relation to managing the orderly exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, it will be possible to continue to make progress on reducing the point at which taxpayers pay the higher rate of income tax,” Mr Donohoe said. “But before we get to that point we just need to be absolutely clear what the impact of Brexit will be on the economy.”
He said that ahead of the next election, he will be “emphasising” that cutting tax is a priority.
“It continues to be my view that we have to make continued progress on reducing the point at which middle income and low income earners are paying the higher rate of income tax. That will continue to be my priority from a personal tax point of view and an income tax perspective,” he said.
“And if and when we get to a point of an election being called in Ireland I’ll be continuing to emphasise that.”
Mr Donohoe said he does not believe there will be an election before Christmas. “I think we are at a point in which there are many bridges still ahead in the Brexit process and my expectation is there will be election in 2020, not this year.”