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Government Must Tax the Super-Rich!

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment


Letter to Irish Times Published WED OCT 6

Taxing questions

* Madam, – Among the taxation proposals being mooted by government for the next and subsequent budgets is an extension of tax to the lower paid. This is to be accompanied by continued draconian reductions in the provision of health, education and other services required by the population generally and particularly by the poor. Government cuts and impositions on the poor and those on middle incomes who spend most of their income in Ireland will flatten the economy and increase the disastrous levels of unemployment and emigration.

Much of the €90 billion irresponsibly borrowed abroad by Irish banks since 2003 is still in the possession of the super-rich.

The borrowings which have bankrupt many developers have been paid to others.

The repayments on these borrowings are now being made by the citizens generally. Surely this money must be restored to the State as a priority?

The only way to recover this money is through an assets tax which is common in several countries (France, Norway, Switzerland) and in several states in the US.

If the €320 billion in assets (Wealth of the Nation Report, 2007) held by the top 5 per cent in 2007 has now shrunk to €250 billion, a 2 per cent annual assets tax on the top 5 per cent of asset holders would bring in €5 billion per year.

Raising the tax on the top 6 per cent who earn over €100,000 per annum from 27 per cent to 32 per cent of total salary, would raise a further €1.5 billion per year.

A significant increase in income taxes and assets taxes on the rich is no longer merely desirable in equity, it is a necessity in order to rescue the economy and to protect human services provision.

There is a real economic emergency. Surely the super-rich should make an emergency contribution? How about a little patriotism from them? – Yours, etc,