I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together.
In the last number of Budgets, the Government has been introducing targeted changes to the income tax system within available resources to make steady and sustainable progress in reducing the income tax burden, focusing on low and middle income earners. This has been done by making targeted changes to the Universal Social Charge and also by increasing the entry point to the higher rate of income tax. All those in receipt of taxable income, including former civil servants, have benefited from these changes.
Regarding tax credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit for self-employed persons and the Home Carer Tax Credit have also been increased in the last number of Budgets. Depending on their circumstances, former civil servants may have benefited from these increases.
It is the Government’s position that earners start to pay the marginal rate of income tax at too low a level and we are committed to reducing excessive tax rates for low and middle income earners while also keeping the tax base broad. It is expected that continued progress in this area will also be made in the context of limited resources available in Budget 2020, balanced against all of the competing demands.