Renua Ireland calls for abolition of television licence

Motor tax should be replaced with levy on fuel, flat tax of 23% proposed by Creighton’s party

Renua Ireland, led by Lucinda Creighton, has called for the abolition of the TV licence fee and the movement of RTÉ to a model that is directly funded by commercial revenue. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Renua Ireland, led by Lucinda Creighton, has called for the abolition of the TV licence fee and the movement of RTÉ to a model that is directly funded by commercial revenue. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

 

Renua Ireland has called for the abolition of the TV licence fee and the movement of RTÉ to a model that is directly funded by commercial revenue.

The party led by Lucinda Creighton also proposed a 23 per cent flat rate income tax for everyone irrespective of income when it launched its pre-budget submission on Monday.

The party argues the current €54 million fund for public service broadcasting should be retained but access to the fund should be on a competitive basis between broadcasters.

Other proposals include the replacement of motor tax with a levy on fuel, which would add three cent to the price of a litre of petrol and four cent to diesel.

Ms Creighton, who described her party as the “antidote” to “establishment” parties, said Renua’s flat tax would be a “game-changer” that would spread the burden across all earners and minimum levels of tax avoidance at both ends of the spectrum.

The system would involve the abolition of USC and PRSI and the current marginal rate of tax.

“We should embrace the simplicity of this tax. It will cast sunshine on the cabal of insiders that have colluded to provide and produce crony tax reliefs, exemptions and bribes,” she said.

“This is big thinking, it’s bold thinking, it’s thinking that we don’t see from the comfortable parties of the establishment...we’re not in the business of dangling goodies before the electorate,” Ms Creighton said.

Asked if the policy would be non-negotiable for the party if it was in Government, she said Yes.

Deputy leader Billy Timmins said people who would decide what the red line issues would be were the voters.

The party say such a move would result in significant falls in the income tax take from middle and higher earners, while there would be a tax rebate for lower income households.

Party president Eddie Hobbs said he believed only a tiny percentage of the Irish population understood the tax system at present, but Renua’s proposals would simplify the system.

The party also said no public servant should be in receipt of a gross pension exceeding €60,000.

Meanwhile, Renua believes a new threshold of €500,000 should apply for inheritance tax purposes.

The party wants to develop a local network of community creches across the State.

During what the party has called “the transitional phase to a flat tax”, a tax credit for childcare worth €500 million would be introduced, split on an 80/20 basis between service users and service providers.