Working Group established to examine options for merging of USC and PRSI – Donohoe

6th February, 2018

Following a commitment made by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD in Budget 2018, an inter-Departmental working group has been established to examine and report on options for the amalgamation of USC and PRSI.

The working group is chaired by the Department of Finance and includes representatives from the Departments of the Taoiseach, Public Expenditure & Reform and Employment Affairs & Social Protection, and from the Revenue Commissioners.

Terms of reference for the working group were discussed and agreed at Cabinet this morning (Tuesday).

The objectives of USC: PRSI amalgamation include simplification of the personal tax system, preservation of the current tax base and providing a stable footing for social insurance provision into the future.  It will be a complex undertaking and is expected to take place over a number of years.

Minister Donohoe stated: “My long term view of the USC has always been to see its integration into the existing PRSI system. The work of this group will contribute to the Government’s objective of making incremental, sustainable but ambitious progress for our citizens – progress on fairer taxation and ultimately on better services”

USC/PRSI Amalgamation Working Group – Terms of Reference

To examine and present options for the amalgamation of PRSI and USC in a manner which seeks to address, inter alia:

(i)   the need to preserve the tax base having regard to the need for certainty, equity, and ease of compliance and administration,
(ii)  current and future funding challenges facing the Social Insurance Fund,
(iii)  issues likely to arise from a phased implementation over a number of years of the new instrument,
(iv)  simplification of the personal tax and social insurance systems, and
(v)   any other relevant matters arising.

The exercise will be chaired by the Department of Finance.  It should have regard to the structure and rates of personal tax and social insurance in other countries and the macroeconomic and demographic contexts in Ireland, and should be completed no later than 30 June 2018.