Tax And Children

 

Sir - Single parents, who already enter the higher tax band at the single person's rate, are now to be denied the home carer's allowance. Not only is this highly inequitable, but in equating a single parent families with a non-family unit i.e. a single person, it is probably unconstitutional.

The Programme for Prosperity and Fairness specifically mentions tax equity and fairness, but this was obviously not meant to apply to single parents. No powerful lobby group there. A single parent has the greatest need for child care, yet by definition can earn only one salary. Yet a far greater portion of this goes in taxes than from the same income of a married couple. A far fairer way would be to introduce tax allowances for dependent children. This would have several benefits including equity; a concentration of the benefit on those whose needs are greatest; an aid to entry into the work force by removing many parents from the tax net; and empowerment of two parent-families to make their own choice between home care or child care.

The French tax system operates on those lines and could be used as a model - Yours, etc., Desmond Kelliher,

Glenageary, Co Dublin.