I move recommendation No. 16:
In page 146, after line 36, to insert the following:
"Report on re-introduction of trade union tax relief
64. The Minister shall, within three months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before both Houses of the Oireachtas a report on—
(a) the impact of trade union membership, based on comparative examples, statistics and case studies across a number of sectors, on—
(i) income levels for employees;
(ii) reliance on working family payment;
(iii) the common good;
(iv) the achievement of Ireland's targets under the Sustainable Development Goals;
(v) the achievement of Ireland's UN and ILO commitments; and
(vi) the promotion of quality employment;
(b) the options for the restoration on tax relief for trade union membership.".
In budget 2011, the then Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, announced he intended to abolish tax reliefs on trade union subscriptions as well as subscriptions to professional bodies. This was part of a review of tax reliefs as part of the Government's response to the economic crisis. Owing to that crisis, the trade union movement did not campaign on this matter. This recommendation, however, is asking the current Minister to reconsider the position, particularly the impact of trade union membership, based on the following: comparative examples, statistics and case studies across a number of sectors, on income levels for employees; the reliance on the working family payment, in respect of which we have talked about the working poor; the common good; the achievement of Ireland's targets under the sustainable development goals, which we have already discussed; the achievement of Ireland's UN and ILO commitments; on the promotion of quality employment; and the options for the restoration of tax relief for trade union membership. An employment Bill is passing through the Houses currently that is tackling the evil scourge of zero-hours contracts. I hope they will be eliminated by Christmas. We also have concerns about bogus self-employment, particularly in the food delivery business. The trade unions have a major role to play here. We believe all these issues are linked and that is why we are moving this recommendation.