Sinn Féin Budget proposals… November 20, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
Interesting to see SF will be putting forward today (at least I presume so, though given the events of the last week…) some fairly radical – at least in the contemporary Irish political and economic context – proposals for the 2013 Budget. Now it’s probably important to note that these consolidate proposals they’ve made since the beginning of the crisis, but as noted in the Sunday Business Post at the weekend:
The party proposes raising €800 million by imposing a 1 per cent tax on an individual’s net wealth over €1 million. The tax would not be levied on 20 per cent of the value of the family home, pension pots, business assets or agricultural land.
Sinn Féin also favours a third rate of income tax of 48 per cent on income above €100,000 per year. It said that this could raise €365 million. Under the plan, a person earning €136,000 per annum would pay an additional €2,520 a year in tax.
In fact many of their proposals grasp the nettle of increasing taxation, both in terms of income tax, but also capital gains tax and capital acquisitions and increased PRSI levels – which as they note are ‘amongst the lowest in Europe’.
It’s worth noting too their line on private pensions:
The party proposes raising almost €1 billion of this by reducing pension tax reliefs to a standard rate of 20 per cent. In addition, all tax reliefs would have “sunset clauses”, whereby they would be reviewed in the future and possibly reduced further.
“The reality is that there are tax reliefs that benefit high income earners, and the debate needs to be about effective tax rates,” said Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman.
“It is our view that, while the state is struggling to pay state pensions, tax reliefs cannot be used to the benefit of those who can afford to save for higher pensions.”
The current earning cap for private pensions of €115,000 per annum would be reduced to €75,000, while the taxable ceilings for special pension vehicles would be increased.
This is very interesting because that aspect of pensions is often left out of discussions as regards the fact that private pensions tend, in the main, though not in all cases, to be provided for somewhat better off private sector workers.
Cautious, yesish overall, but cleverly pitched. Nothing too radical – albeit far too radical for our current Government, but nonetheless making a very clear statement. It will be very telling to see how these proposals fare in future polling data.
That they’ve also been costed by ‘relevant government departments’ gives them a degree of credibility. As is their ‘acceptance’ of the €3.5bn ‘budget adjustment’. That’s grand, but what of next years budget and the year after? How, one wonders, will that be dealt with? Perhaps that question is answered in the actual document.
Yet despite that caveat at the same time it is heartening that a party of SF’s size would make the case for increased taxation over expenditure cuts – something that others appear to have long abandoned.