Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland eyes tax cut to aid workers

The Irish government is looking at a possible income tax cut to make working more worthwhile and not to win over voters, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has told a panel discussion in Brussels.

And highlighting the extent of the problem still posed by unemployment, he suggested the levels of youth joblessness in Europe could help boost extremism as he shared a platform with finance ministers from crisis-hit countries Spain and Portugal.

The conference, organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, focused on how to foster jobs and growth in the eurozone as recovery gradually takes hold in the 18-strong bloc.

The coalition has been building up expectations of an income tax cut in October's Budget 2015, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny saying it was a priority for government.

Mr Noonan said that the low threshold at which workers hit the higher rate of tax of 41% was damaging to jobs. He is looking for "a labour market initiative to make work more worthwhile".

Belfast Telegraph