SF propose 'wealth tax' and betting duty of 10%


SINN FÉIN says the upcoming budget should introduce a “wealth tax” to raise €1.6 billion, increase betting duty to 10 per cent and treble the annual tax on second homes.

In a pre-budget submission, entitled “The Road to Recovery”, the party set out proposals it said would raise and save €7.623 billion mainly through tax increases “for those who can afford to pay”.

Finance spokesman Arthur Morgan said a 1 per cent “wealth tax” should be levied on all assets worth more than €1 million, excluding farmland and regardless of residency.

“The arguments against taxing the wealthy based on ‘capital flight’ scenarios don’t stand up to scrutiny. Sinn Féin envisages a wealth tax being based on global assets . . . Capital could fly all over the place and we could still tax it here,” Mr Morgan said.

He said a “very cautious and basic” estimate of the return on this tax in 2010 would be €1.6 billion.

Mr Morgan said €310 million could be raised by increasing betting duty to 10 per cent, while hiking the tax on second homes from €200 to €600 would raise approximately €120 million.

Sinn Féin’s document said standardising “all discretionary tax reliefs” would raise €1.1 billion and introducing a third tax rate, of 48 per cent on individual earnings in excess of €100,000, would raise €355 million.

The party said the abolition of mortgage interest relief for landlords would raise €285 million and increasing capital gains tax to 40 per cent would raise €190 million.

Increasing Dirt by 5 per cent would bring in €145 million while abolishing the PRSI ceiling would raise €119.5 million.

Meanwhile, the party said child benefit and social welfare benefits should be protected from cuts and the Christmas bonus scheme for social welfare recipients be reintroduced.