Today we launched Closing the Gap: TASC’s Proposals for a More Equitable Budget.
Our basic message is that there is a risk of major, negative and long-lasting social harm from the Government's target of another €8.6 billion of tax and cuts (including €3.5 billion to be announced in December) along the same lines as previous budgets. We need to change direction and look at tax reform and a plan to achieve sustainable Western European standards of public services, underpinned by major tax reform to pay for them.
We have chosen costed measures (on the basis of available data from official sources) to put together a package of proposals that meet the Government's target for €3.5 billion in the most jobs-friendly, egalitarian way possible, with 80 per cent coming from tax reform.
Our major prooosals include:
- An annual 0.35 per cent residential property tax, with an 'ability to pay' system of deferred payment. Our figures assume a 25 per cent rate of deferrals;
- Changes to CAT
- Substantial reform of pension tax reliefs
- Excise on economic 'bads' such as saturated fat, salt, added sugar
- Increasing carbon tax to €25 per tonne of CO2
As an imperative, we argue that no measures in Budget 2013 should reduce social transfers or public service supports to low income and vulnerable groups.