I want to touch on a couple of the issues raised. I will start with the point at which average income earners move on to the higher rate of tax. It has been identified as a significant negative for taxpayers earning an average income in Ireland. We know it is an issue in terms of getting FDI jobs into Ireland. We know people move on to the rate of higher tax too quickly, when they earn €35,300 per annum.
We are an unusual jurisdiction, probably one of very few in the OECD where average industrial earners move on to the higher rate of tax at the average point. It is something we have said we want to deal with and that we want to move the dial. The Taoiseach has said that we need to move towards a system like that in the UK, where the point would be €50,000. The equivalent figure in the UK is £50,000. We will try to get there over time if we are returned to government. It is our objective that people can earn more money, pay less tax and make a determination themselves about how they spend their money.
The receipts for capital gains tax totalled €415 million to the end of November, an increase of €69 million against profile. It is coming in at quite a substantial rate. We do not know whether it will increase unless we cut it. What Senator McDowell said is correct historically, but it may not happen again. Some people believe it will, but others believe it will not. We think 33% is an appropriate rate right now. It was 40% and was reduced to 20%. The rate of 33% is a little higher than the midpoint between those two rates. Right now we believe it is the appropriate and correct amount. We do not have wealth taxes, beyond capital gains tax, capital acquisitions tax and the local property tax. In total, those taxes bring in a little more than €1 billion of the €60 billion we collect and spend throughout the year.
I wish to touch on one final aspect. There was a little bit of a barney last week as a result of some of the commentary in the House. I take offence, on behalf of the hospitality sector, which employs a large number of people throughout the country, at what was said by some of my Sinn Féin colleagues as Members of the Oireachtas. They sullied the name of people who employ many staff around the country. They were wrong to say what they said about the finest of business people throughout the country. The comments should be withdrawn because they were wrong, ignorant and ill-informed. I am very grateful for the employment provided by the hospitality sector.
I thank everyone: my officials from the Department of Finance and Senators who participated in the debate. I want to finish with a quote from Keynes. David McWilliams, when making a point about foreign direct investment in a newspaper at the weekend, quoted him as saying, "It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong." I believe this Government's policies are broadly accurate. The left is merging and seems to be getting ready to form the next Government, in its mind at least. A lot of kisses are being blown between Sinn Féin, the Green Party, the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil. The current Government has the finances of the country broadly accurate. The emergence of a left alliance that wants to enter the next general election will have policies that will be precisely wrong.