Tax Breaks, Tax Broke?

20th August, 2009

Excellent piece of work by the Labour Party in the Irish Times today. It notes that 400 of the highest earners in Ireland received almost €300 million in tax breaks in 2007. The use of these tax breaks to minimise the tax burden of very high earners does need to be tackled. Unfortunately what struck me is how low the figure is, that dealing with these distortions might not be the pot of gold that we would all hope it to be. This could all be reformed but there would still need to be really tough decisions make on the expenditure/revenue side of the equation.

The Labour Party argue that this figure is staggering. Maybe it is, but it will only be a small component of the decisions made about the tax base in our country. Much more needs to be found.

Where I think the real value will be is in ensuring that people do not feel that there are two tax codes. One for you and me, and the other for the super rich. That’s where the value will be in dealing with these shelters.