End Ireland’s status as a tax haven and break out of fiscal space straitjacket
Tackle inequality – use Corporation Tax, Millionaire’s Tax, Debt Repudiation to fund public investment
Transform society – Tackle Housing crisis with 50,000 homes, Develop National Childcare System, Invest in Irish NHS
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said:
“The Apple Tax scandal and the wider scandal of a whole series of corporate tax loop-holes benefiting big corporations and vulture funds have all served to expose Ireland as nothing more than the European off-shore tax haven. This dysfunctional economic model has grossly distorted our growth figures and taken alongside the straight-jacket of debt and EU fiscal rules has ensured that the majority of our citizens take all the pain of recession and get none of the gain when there is growth.
“Over the last five years, the share of gross income going to the top 10% of earners increased from 34% to 39% and roughly half of the increase in total income (€21 billion) also went to this group. In terms of disposable income the richest 10% of households received 24%, whereas the bottom 10% received just 3%. In terms of wealth, the growing gap between the majority and a small elite is even starker. Since the 1980’s the top 10% have increased their share of wealth from 42% to 54%, leaving just five per cent for the bottom 50% of the population. Over the last 20 years the share of the national economic cake going to wages has dropped by about 20 per cent, while corporate profits have soared.
“The basic economic model of the Irish establishment has been to attract foreign direct investment by holding down wages and public spending and allowing an elite of corporations to pay little or no tax. Within the EU, Ireland relied heavily on London to block any moves against multinational tax evasion. In the aftermath of Brexit, with the noose being tightened around corporate evasion and a very troubled global economy, this is a totally unsustainable economic model. The situation is further worsened by the crippling effects of odious debt and annual interest payments of 6-7 billion euro, and fiscal rules that prevent us from spending money we actually have. Our budget statement proposes a radical change direction, to break from the tax haven model and the straight-jacket of debt and fiscal space.
“We are proposing a radical €24 billion programme of public investment in infrastructure, strategic enterprise and public services, that will create tens of thousands of jobs in public housing construction, developing a national health service, a national childcare service, renewable energy, renewing our water infrastructure, properly resourcing education, the arts, public transport and other areas . Tinkering around the edges of fiscal space cannot achieve the sort of change and investment that is needed to have an equitable and sustainable economic model. However, a bold change in policy where wealth and profit are taxed fairly can finance the social and economic transformation needed to make this happen.”
Read the alternative budget here: