Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Call to tax minimum wage workers

Minimum wage workers should be taxed, business leaders have suggested
Minimum wage workers should be taxed, business leaders have suggested

Minimum wage workers should be taxed to help boost the public finances, business leaders have suggested.

Unveiling its pre-Budget submission, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec) said everyone must contribute to help pull the country out of recession.

The lobby group denied it was placing the burden on low-income workers over high earners, claiming almost half of the country's tax take comes from the 5% of top earners.

Danny McCoy, Ibec director general, said the Government does not have the luxury of excluding certain earners from the tax net.

"The entire labour force has to make a contribution to this," Mr McCoy said.

"We cannot afford to leave the (tax) base as narrow as it has been hitherto."

Those on the 8.65 euro minimum wage are currently excluded from the tax net. At present, a single person starts paying tax at 18,300 euro a year.

The lobby group also proposed a doubling of the second home tax, from 200 euro a year to 400 euro a year, bringing in 80 million euro, and reducing the number of tax credits, yielding 550 million euro to the state.

Ibec also called for a property tax to be rolled out as soon as possible, though it claimed it would be unlikely to be ready for the Budget.

The body said it supports finding at least three billion euro in savings but claimed the balance should be on cutting spending rather than tax hikes.

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