Brian Hayes MEP

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Ireland’s tax system is fair and progressive- Hayes

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The top 1% of earners pay 21% of total income tax

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes today said that populist proposals to increase tax on high income earners do not make economic sense given Ireland’s fair and progressive system of taxation.

“Our income taxation system is progressive and fair. The more you earn the more you pay. The top 1% of income earners pay 21% of total income tax and USC in Ireland – this is up from 19% due to changes made in Budget 2015. On the other hand, 76% of earners, who have salaries of less than €50,000 per year, pay 20% of the total tax take. The system is geared towards fairness and balance.

“Parties of the Left believe that all our problems can be solved by a very large tax increase on those earning more than €100,000. The difficulty with their suggestion is that we don’t have enough people earning that level of income. Of the 2.1 million taxpayers, just over 103,000 cases, or 6% in total, have gross incomes over 100,000. Pretending that 6% are going to solve all the expenditure and tax plans promised by hard left politicians in an election campaign is populist nonsense.

“Internationally, we have one of the most progressive tax systems in the world. The real problem in the Irish tax code lies with the fact that people on very average pay hit the top rate of tax too early.

“The figures are very stark. Single people hit the top rate of tax in Ireland at €33,800. In the UK it is €183,285, in France it is €186,749 and in Germany it is €259,100. While this cannot be resolved overnight, it must be the priority for reform in the years ahead. ”

Cumulative Burden of Income Tax and USC for 2015

Gross Earnings % Income Earners 2015 % of the Total Income Tax & USC Paid in the State in  2015
Pre Budget Basis
% of the Total Income Tax & USC Paid in the State in  2015

Post Budget Basis

> €200,000 1% 19% 21%
> €100,000 6% 42% 44%
> €80,000 9% 54% 55%
> €50,000 24% 79% 80%
< €50,000 76% 21% 20%

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