Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Ceisteanna (131)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

131. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Finance his plans to abolish the universal social charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19118/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

An inter-departmental working group was established in February 2018 to examine and report on options for the amalgamation of USC and PRSI over the medium term.  The working group completed their work, in line with their terms of reference and their report was submitted to me in late in 2018.   Follow-on decisions will be taken in due course and I will make these public at the appropriate time.

More generally, the Government is committed to measures that positively benefit workers while also keeping the tax base broad.

Our income tax system has been transformed since 2008, following a necessary reform to broaden the income tax base in the interest of ensuring a stable revenue stream to fund essential public services.

I am determined to balance the priorities of ensuring that our personal taxation system remains progressive, competitive but also resilient in the future. 

This is why we have 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 USC and also by increasing the entry point to the higher rate of income tax.

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.