Abolish Income Tax

… and use USC instead. Reported by The Irish Times here.  The full text of Tom Healy’s address is here.

9 replies on “Abolish Income Tax”

In essence this seems to mean the abolition of many/most (all?) income tax reliefs, tax credits, tax exemptions, etc.

And replacing it with a broad-based income tax, with no or very few tax expenditures.

It would mean huge change in the pensions sector, for example.

One of the few regressive income tax measures introduced has been USC, the rest appear over-progressive if anything?

“When indirect taxes (VAT and excise duties) are taken into account the overall tax situation
is neither strongly progressive or regressive (t
he poorest and richest pay the most)

This is selective poo.

The table (table 4) in the referred document:
on p.9 suffers from the fallacy of the stupid wool. Clearly the authors think we are too stupid to look at their previous table (table 1) and figure what they are attempting with the wool.

Table 1:
Bottom decile
income 9,887.07
income after tax 9,857.32
Expenditure 18,459.15

Despite the difference in income and expenditure being made up through social transfers, the authors then go on to use only income to arise at the proportion of total tax paid, neatly filleting any attempt at objectivity and, to be honest, rationality.

Add to this, excise duties, that make up a significant proportion of lowest decile tax burden are imposed by wishy-washy liberals. Forget USC/IT arguments. Abolish excise duty… the numbers will magically improve.

Abolish nothing, spread the burden intelligently. Income tax tiers from 0 to 60%. VAT on everything at one flat rate, that includes food and drugs. Import duties in accordance with international agreements. Inheritance tax on private property and other assets on everything over the value of the average dwelling nationally. Petrol/diesel VAT + levy for infrastructure upkeep. Property taxes to cover local streets/roads, schools, garbage disposal, water/sewage.

A grant to individuals below the poverty line to compensate for taxes paid, indirect taxes in particular. This is a sum based on what the average tax burden is on individuals below the poverty line not customised requiring hordes of civil servants to process. No room for TD interference which is built into most gov’t rules and regulations in Ireland.

If civilised society is to survive taxes are a vital necessity, all the magical thinking in the world and particularly 2% corporate taxes will not change that. We could of course go back to 2 acre plots with no government services just our spuds and cabbage gardens. Subsishtense livin dey call dat in Kerry.

Replace average with median and your onto something. Oh, and all tax records online after one year

Whatever aspect of taxation is reformed we need an honest, open and ongoing debate about (a) how much we are prepared to pay for an excellent public service (b) how paying for it is distributed and (c) how public services can be planned, delivered and evaluated by citizens. Therein lies the main thrust of the presentation I made last Saturday.

@ seafóid,

I thought the scale of CT avoidance was such that there is nothing to lose!

Yesterday’s Sunday Times had a story on EU VAT changes where “[o]ne official source said that the estimates of the potential additional VAT inflow ranged from €1bn to €2bn.” Hmmm.

@Tom Healy
Well done on proposal to get rid of Tax Expenditures.
Four to five billion is a lot of money.

Here is a suggestion to complement your idea, and as an interim step to its implementation.

Create a new department called ‘Formerly Tax Expenditures’, with each expenditure budgeted, a criteria for payments and a cheque written to each recipient.
That might give us a little clarity on what is going on under the hood.

PS: That would include the latest tax expenditure for (2012) commercial property, that gives a seven year ‘sky-is-the-limit’ Capital Gains Tax exemption for purchasers. [S 604A].

@ Tom Healy: Eight responses – to a very vexing matter? What might this mean?

Its not the taxes that are the problem Tom, its the expenditure side, and the reckless behaviour of our local and national politicians, Left, Right and Centre (they are all equally at fault) in promising their respective electorates services that can only be delivered by using the State Credit Card – issued by the ECB, you understand!

Think we might have an full and fair conversation about this? Not a snowball’s chance in hell, we will.

Just legislate that all working-age Irish adults, and all residents (who are not significantly incapacitated in some way) shall file a one-page declaration of their gross annual income, and whence it came. No ifs, no buts, no exceptions. No declaration and you slop-out for 2 years!

Now why has such a relatively simple issue not being done by now?

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