Sinn Féin ‘pro-business’ but will raise capital gains tax

Gerry Adams says party committed to a 48% tax rate on those earning over €100,000

Gerry Adams says his party is ‘looking for a fair tax system’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Gerry Adams says his party is ‘looking for a fair tax system’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times


Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has insisted his party is pro-enterprise but said it will increase Capital Gains Tax and Capital Acquisitions Tax if in Government.

Mr Adams addressed a breakfast briefing of Dublin Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday and said he was eager to dispel the myth that Sinn Fein was anti-business.

He said: “We are looking for a fair tax system. We want to standardise the tax relief system. The tax reliefs are available to those who have the expertise, the money or the wealth or the support.

“We want to see that standardised and we also have argued for a third rate of tax. Anyone who could argue you could build public services and reduce your tax... How could you do it? It doesn’t make sense.

“What we have argued is for a third rate of tax of 48 per cent on income earned over €100,000. We have also argued for an increase in Capital Gains Tax and Capital Acquisitions Tax and we have argued for a second home charge for those who are lucky enough to have a second home. That tax should be increased.”

Mr Adams insisted Sinn Féin wanted a progressive tax system, as opposed to the “stealth taxes” he claimed were being imposed by the current Government.

He said if his party was elected to Government they would take 200,000 low income earners out of the Universal Social Charge net while in office.

Mr Adams said: “We need to revolutionise how we gather public money and how we spend public money.”

The Louth TD said Sinn Féin wanted to support and encourage small and medium enterprises and would provide proposals to do so in the upcoming Budget.

He told the meeting Sinn Féin was aware of how crucial foreign direct investment (FDI) was to the Irish economy.

Mr Adams told business leaders he recognised the value of FDI and insisted his party was intent on supporting multi-nationals coming to Ireland.

He said: “In fact we believe we are much more ambitious than the Government for what can be achieved through FDI.”

“We believe more work needs to be done to increase links between Irish indigenous business and FDI.”

Mr Adams said Sinn Féin has been consistent on the need to maintain the 12.5 per cent corporation tax, “at this time”.

He said: “We are actually battling with the British government to transfer various fiscal powers to the Assembly in the North including corporation tax. We are arguing that that should be harmonised across the island.”

Corporation tax is 20 per cent in the North of Ireland but will fall to 19 per cent in 2017.