Tax should be cut to UK levels, says Bruton

Minister says Government must work towards goal of reducing threshold for higher rate

Richard Bruton says the Government must work towards a medium-term goal of reducing the threshold at which people pay the higher rate of tax, as well as the rate itself. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Richard Bruton says the Government must work towards a medium-term goal of reducing the threshold at which people pay the higher rate of tax, as well as the rate itself. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Irish rates of income tax should be reduced in line with British levels as soon as possible to increase competitiveness, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton has said.

Writing in today’s Irish Times , Mr Bruton says the Government must work towards a medium-term goal of reducing the threshold at which people pay the higher rate of tax, as well as the rate itself.

He has consistently said the threshold at which Irish people pay the higher rate of tax is too low, with the 52 per cent rate kicking in on earnings above €32,800.

Mr Bruton’s spokesman said the thresholds and rates of tax are issues employers have raised with him and the Industrial Development Agency, and in today’s newspaper the Minister says, “We must not forget the role that income tax plays in competitiveness”.

“As I have said a number of times before, in Ireland the 52 per cent marginal rate of income tax is much higher and kicks in at a much lower level of income than in our competitor countries,” he adds.

“In fact, at €32,800, it kicks in below the level of average incomes. In the UK by comparison, while there are other factors to consider, workers pay 20 per cent on incomes up to €38,000 and 40 per cent on incomes above that up to €180,000. This directly harms competitiveness and job-creation in Ireland and is an issue that comes up.