Taxation and inequality

 

Sir, – The concerns about income distribution raised by Sinn Féin are interesting, but should be seen in the context of a tax system which is progressive, and thereby addresses much of this potential inequality.

It may be true that the top 1 per cent earn 11 per cent of income. However, recent statistics from Revenue show that this small group pays 24 per cent of tax on income. And while, as reported, the bottom 50 per cent earn 20 per cent of income, they contribute only 3.6 per cent of tax paid.

This results in Irish society being more equal than most, as measured by the Gini index. Our typical value of around 30 per cent, after taxes and redistribution, indicates equality comparable to France or the Netherlands. It’s also more equal than Australia, the US or the United Kingdom, countries that are culturally similar to us. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.