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TAXED TO THE MAX; Property, child benefit & water to be hit with new levies..but rich still get relief.


MIDDLE-income families are set to be hammered by new taxes including water charges and a EUR1,000 property levy on homes, it was revealed yesterday.

Child benefit is also set to be taxed and every household in the country will have a meter installed and forced to pay a new water charge.

The changes have been proposed by the Commission on Taxation which has made 25 recommendations to the Government.

The key changes include:

A PROPERTY tax on all homes, averaging EUR1,000 a house

A TAX on child benefit

The return of WATER rates, and

NEW pension fund for low paid workers.

But there is no mention of the promised closure of loopholes to stop the super-rich paying little or no tax.

Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton, right, said: "Most surprising of all is the absence of any apparent reference to the phasing out of the tax reliefs available only to the wealthy and particularly to the property-based reliefs that contributed so significantly to the Irish property bubble and the consequent crisis.

"Recently published figures from the Department of Finance showed the extent to which the super-wealthy were still able to avail of these reliefs - 400 benefiting to the extent of EUR300million during 2007 - and there will be real anger and disappointment among ordinary taxpayers if the Commission does not recommend the ending of this scandal.

"It is also a matter of concern that the focus of attention appears to be on additional new measures that will hit lower and middle-income families.

There is also to be a SSIA-type pension for those on low wages with the state handing over EUR1 for every EUR2 saved by workers. Fine Gael's finance spokesman Richard Bruton claimed the new taxes would make the economic crisis even worse.

He said: "No country has ever taxed its way back to economic recovery.

"This is unfair, unwise and will only make the recession deeper and longer.

"Already, in the last year the Government has announced 20 new taxes or tax hikes, costing a middle-income family over EUR5,000 per year.

"This has raised the marginal rate of taxation for a person on the average industrial wage to 51% (41% income tax, 4 per cent PRSI, 4% levy, 2% income levy).

"This means that more than half of every extra euro earned is taken by the Government. This has been a formula for job destruction and economic stagnation."


DESPITE a massive Exchequer deficit the Commission on Taxation report does not call for a rise in income tax rates as workers are paying as much as they can afford.

It discloses that anyone earning EUR75,000 is already paying over half their wages, 53%, to the state. Of this 41% is tax, 4% is PRSI, a further 4% is a health levy and an income levy of 4%.

Artists' tax exemptions are to go and workers could lose their relief on union subscriptions.


PLANS to tax child benefit may provoke similar protests to the ones seen when the Government tried to remove the automatic right to a medical cards from over 70s.

But is likely that a special tax credit will be given to those on low income. A water tax may also cause anger and could result in residents associations to mobilise to fight its introduction as in the past.

A SSIA-type pension for the lower paid with a significant reduction in pension tax relief for the higher paid.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2009
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