IFA President Eddie Downey has said that the Government must prioritise the removal of the discrimination against self-employed workers in the income tax system, and reducing the income tax burden for all taxpayers is the fairest way to reflect the upturn in the economy.
Mr Downey was responding to the Government’s Spring Statement which gave a commitment to reducing taxes on labour over the coming budgets.
He said, “I welcome the Government’s commitment to reducing income taxation on all taxpayers as a means of supporting economic growth. However, I am disappointed that there was no specific commitment given to remove the discrimination that exists in the income tax treatment of self-employed versus employees. Under the current system, a self-employed worker starts paying income tax at just over €8,000, or half the income level of an employee. At an income of €17,500, a self-employed worker pays over five times the rate of income tax and other charges that an employee does. This is unacceptable, and the Government must move in this year’s Budget to introduce an Earned Income Tax Credit for self-employed workers”.
Eddie Downey also noted the Government’s commitment to an increase in public expenditure in this October’s budget. “Budget 2016 is a critical test of the Government’s commitment to the implementation the Rural Development Programme. Full drawdown of Ireland’s annual €580m funding (national and EU) for the RDP is necessary, as these programmes, including agri-environment measures, on-farm investment and knowledge transfer, will be key to the delivery of growth targets in the agri-food sector and the delivery of a balanced economic recovery across rural Ireland.”
He concluded, “IFA will be participating in the National Economic Dialogue over the coming months, at which we will be setting out the key taxation and expenditure priorities for the agriculture sector and for farm families”.