Michael Noonan and income tax

Sir, – Your headline "Michael Noonan favours further income tax cuts" (February 25th) made for extraordinary reading given two pertinent facts: first, the effective income tax here is among the lowest in Europe; and second, Ireland remains confronted with staggering levels of homelessness and poverty, in addition to ever-growing access barriers to other basics, such as healthcare, energy, etc.

There is no doubt that our income tax needs amending given the low level at which the marginal rate kicks in. However, that would be best achieved by levelling out the overall take by way of additional tax bands that increases take from high and higher incomes. This would be cost-neutral as the increase take from higher incomes is simply redistributed to those on lower pay.

Such a proposal will, no doubt, fly far over the head of Mr Noonan, but that is hardly a surprise. He has spent his time in office perfecting the art of turning a blind eye to the sufferings of those that survive beyond the inner circle. In the process, he has added significant weight to the truism, “Capitalism is, fundamentally, an economic system that promotes inequality”. – Yours, etc,