Renua believes in putting the taxpayer first. We are focused on reducing taxes, respecting every Euro of taxpayers’ money, and highlighting and eliminating wasteful expenditure of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash
A: Income Tax
- Our income tax system is highly complex with a minimum of 53 moving parts – multiple PRSI and USC rates, credits and income tax bands.
- Our tax system punishes middle-income earners by forcing them to pay a higher rate of tax on income at an earlier point than any other comparable country in Europe.
- Our tax system discriminates against families where one parent decides to stay at home to mind their children.
- Almost 1 in 3 income earners pay no tax on their income.
- Increase the point at which workers start paying the top rate of tax on their income.
- Increase the Home Carer Tax Credit to end discrimination against single income families.
- Establish a Commission on the future of Taxation and Welfare to deliver a simplified and fair system of taxation and welfare which does not punish those who work hard.
B: Corporation Tax
- In 2016 just 20 multinational companies paid half of all corporate tax receipts in that year.
- In 2015 13 of Ireland’s Top 100 Companies paid an effective corporate tax rate of just 1%.
- The banks which were saved by the Irish people are now back in profit but will not pay any tax on profits earned for the next 20 years.
- Corporations depend on decent public services – the roads to transport their goods, an education system which produces their workers, the Gardai which protects their property. Corporations should pay their fair share of tax.
- Retain and defend the current headline corporation tax rate of 12.5%. However, we will also ensure that, where a company makes a profit in a year, a minimum effective tax rate of 7.5% applies. Losses can be carried forward but the minimum corporate tax rate will not be allowed fall below 7.5%.
C: Welfare Reform
- In 2013 figures released by the Department of Social Protection confirmed that 1 in 7 on the dole at that time had never worked with 1 in 3 of those aged 35 or over. In 2018 the Irish Government will spend €3.4bn on working age income and employment supports.
- In Budget 2018, at a time of near full employment and low inflation the Government increased the dole by €5 a week – the same amount workers received in tax cuts.
- Renua believes in a welfare state that helps and supports people through difficult times. However, we do not support a welfare state which helps people who refuse to help themselves.
- Ensure that our proposed Commission for the future of taxation and welfare will be asked to produce recommendations for longer-term reforms of the welfare state to ensure its sustainability.
D: Securing Our Public Finances
- In Ireland we spend more on debt servicing costs than we do on Education, Housing or Justice – €10.6bn per annum to service a national debt of c€200bn. Sovereign debt is a tax on future generations and their public services.
- The state pension bill is c€7bn per annum in a country which is ageing fast and where the birth rate is falling.
- Brexit and a more isolationist U.S.A presents more immediate challenges to our small businesses and our ability to attract and retain FDI.
- Renua will act responsibly and take the necessary steps to ensure our public finances are managed effectively for the benefit of the Irish people.
- Re-establish ‘An Bord Snip Nua’ and implement a forensic analysis of public spending. We will ask ‘An Bord Snip Nua’ to make recommendations to reduce current spending by €5bn (8.98% of 2018 current spending budget).
- Establish a Public Sector Innovation Fund to reward public and civil servants (individuals or teams) who propose the best ideas for reducing costs and/or improving services to end users.
E: Allowing People Save For Their Futures
- In Ireland we punish those who act responsibly with punitive tax rates on savings.
- Those who save money in deposit accounts pay 41% tax on interest earned.
- Those who put money into investment funds are required to pay 33% capital gains tax on any gains.
- Parents who wish to put some money away for their children are denied a tax efficient means of doing it.
- Establish tax efficient investment/savings accounts in Ireland.
- Based on the UK Individual Savings Account (ISA), savers will be allowed to invest up to €10,000 in after tax income per annum in a savings or investment account. The savings/investments will be allowed to grow tax free and no tax will be imposed on withdrawals.
- Establish an ISA for children whereby parents/guardians and grandparents can each invest up to €3,000 per annum in after tax income in a savings account for their young. Child ISAs will not be accessible until the child reaches the age of 18. At 18 they can decide to withdraw the funds tax free or roll the savings into an ‘Adult ISA’.
F: The Cost Of Living
- Ireland is the 2nd most expensive country in the European Union.
- The high cost of living in Ireland hurts low and middle income earners particularly hard.
- The high cost of living in Ireland acts as a barrier to economic growth, acts as a disincentive for our emigrants to return home and damages the ability of our young to buy their first home and begin forming their own families.
- Reduce the top rate of VAT from 23% to 21%. We believe that this measure is crucial to help protect our small businesses from the potential fallout from Brexit.
- Invest in primary and post-primary education. We believe that school-books and school transport should be paid for by the state rather than parents.
- Restore the school capitation grant to 2010 levels and end the practice of individual schools seeking ‘voluntary contributions’ from parents.
- Tackle the high cost of insurance by making perjury a criminal offence in Ireland, by updating the ‘Book of Quantum’ which states the compensation available for various personal injuries and ensuring that compensation awards are in line with awards for similar injuries in comparable EU countries, requiring our Judges to refer to the Book of Quantum and award compensation in line with it, abolish monetary compensation for soft-tissue injuries (whiplash) an replace same with vouchers for physiotherapy services.
- Work to establish German-Style ‘Public Banks’ in Ireland to offer real competition to current retail banks. We will harness the existing network of An Post and Credit Union outlets to deliver our public bank model. Only competition will drive down the high cost of borrowing in Ireland.
- The legal industry needs to be reformed. Renua will force the industry to reform by opening up the sector to greater competition – particularly in conveyancing and probate services.
G: Foreign Aid
- In 2018 the Irish Government will spend €707m on Overseas Development Aid (ODA).
- In December 2017 the Taoiseach confirmed that spending on ODA will double in the coming years.
- As Ireland is still running deficits our spending on ODA is funded through borrowing. We are borrowing money today, spending it in foreign countries and asking future generations to pay it back.
- Our annual spending on ODA means Ireland has relatively narrow scope to donate funds to countries when natural disasters strike.
- Much of our ODA spending goes to countries with high spending on armaments and/or questionable commitment to democracy and transparency. ODA subsidises bad governance.
- Oppose any further increases in Overseas Development Aid and ensure that monies spent on providing accommodation for asylum seekers and spent on peace-keeping missions is included as part of our overseas development aid programme.
- Implement an urgent review of existing overseas aid programmes to ensure Irish taxpayers money is being spent to help people and communities rather than subsidise corrupt or undemocratic regimes.
- Establish an Emergency Fund so Ireland can play its part in helping countries which experience disasters to recover from them.
- Invest in and reform our Defence Forces so they are better able to respond to crises at home and to help with post-disaster recovery abroad.
- Increase the number of scholarships offered to students from poor countries. These countries will not develop through foreign-aid but ensuring well-educated people are given leadership positions to deliver real, sustainable change in their own countries.