Irish Republican News · October 22, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Millionaires go tax-free

Several millionaires in the 26 Counties are paying no income tax, according to figures released by the Dublin government.

The figures for 2001 - the most up-to-date available - were released by the Department to the Labour Party.

They show that 41 people with incomes of 500,000 or more paid no tax in 2001. Eleven of these had incomes of more than 1,000,000.

The figures also show that 242 people with earnings of between O100,000 and O1,000,000 paid no tax for the 2001 tax year, while a further 149 people had paid an effective rate of tax of 20 per cent of less.

“The figures are truly astonishing indictment of the range of tax loopholes and avoidance measures which had been built up during the McCreevy years and which allow many of the most wealthy in Irish society to avoid tax,” Ms Burton said.

“It is difficult for the ordinary taxpayer to continue to accept a situation where people are in crisis situations on trolleys in hospitals while some of the wealthiest in Irish society could avoid all obligations to paying a fair share of tax,” she added.

Ms Burton said it was “almost certain” that the figures for last year and 2003 will show “an even more extreme and disturbing situation”.

The party has called for the establishment of a permanent tax reform commission and advocates a minimum effective tax rate “to ensure that extreme distortions of the tax system” are eliminated.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Caoimhghin O Caolain TD, said PAYE workers, taxed directly through their wage packet at up to 42%, could “rightly feel aggrieved”.

“As public services continue to crack and crumble under the pressure of poor financial resources, this revelation is concrete evidence, if evidence was needed, of the shameful legacy of Mary Harney and Charlie McCreevy in both the Department of Finance and the Department of Enterprise and Trade over the last seven years.

“While they pontificated about the need for a low-tax economy what was really operating for their super rich friends was a no-tax economy. It is absolutely sickening to constantly be lectured to on economics by the likes of Mary Harney and her PD colleagues and fifth columnists in Fianna Fail. This admission alone exposes the flawed, selfish and ultimately dangerous economic policies of the PDs, who are clearly the driving force behind the Government.

“If everybody paid their fair share then our public services would not be in the state they are in. People would not be dying for want of a hospital bed; schools would not be rundown and overcrowded; parents would not want for adequate childcare facilities and we would not have endless housing waiting lists.

“It takes political will to tackle the vested interests in this country and that is something this Government is seriously lacking in.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News