Budget 2018 and the tax base


Sir, – You report the predictable Social Justice Ireland reaction to the income tax proposals (“Budget skewed in favour of better-off, says Social Justice Ireland”, News, October 11th). In its budget publication, it bemoans the fact that high earners benefit more, in absolute terms, than lower earners. Thus someone earning €20,000 a year derives less benefit than someone earning €120,000 a year. Social Justice Ireland fails to point out, as usual, that the person earning six times as much in fact pays 35 times as much tax in the first place than their lower-paid fellow citizen. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – Your editorial of October 12th seems to agree with the Government’s view that this is a “broadly balanced” budget. This is clearly complete nonsense. Based on the budget, the Government is forecasting an exchequer deficit of €2.28 billion for 2018, which is greater than the combined projected revenue from property tax, capital acquisition tax, capital gains tax and customs duties: a lot of money.

Your columnist Pat Leahy notes that “Paschal Donohue balanced his budget”, that he “broadened the tax base”, and that he introduced “new taxes” (“Observing the Tao of Paschal Donohoe”, Opinion & Analysis, October 12th). Mr Donohue did none of these things. He adjusted a stamp duty rate, and amended some capital allowances rules, but these are neither new taxes nor a broadening of the tax base. To state that he balanced his budget is even more ludicrous than your editorial comment.

Mr Leahy also states that “Donohue raised new tax revenues of €830 million”. Mr Donohoe hasn’t raised a ha’penny (nor even a half cent) as yet – everything is a proposal yet to be voted into law. The revenue then has to be generated and collected (and good luck to him on both fronts). – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.

Sir, – As a private-sector worker who tends to pay for the giveaways of each budget, I generally get up earlier and earlier as I have to work harder to pay for everyone else’s gifts. After the recent budget, I decided to get up earlier but to my surprise I met myself going to bed. What do I do next? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.