Irish Times gets it wrong: Sinn Féin keeping wealth tax

AN Irish Times report on Tuesday headlined “Sinn Féin to drop wealth tax from its Budget submission” is wrong, a senior party insider has told An Phoblacht – the Wealth Tax proposal stays.

The Irish Times report claims:

“Sinn Féin will drop its calls for a Wealth Tax in next month’s Budget as part of a dramatic departure from its approach to balance the state’s finances.

“The principle of a Wealth Tax of 1% on assets above €1million has been an integral part of Sinn Féin’s pre-Budget submission since 2010 along with a third 48% tax rate and a cap of €100,000 on public sector salaries.”

But a senior Sinn Féin policy adviser told An Phoblacht after the story appeared that it is quite simply wrong.

“Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has explained that every year, for the last number of years, the submission has been entirely costed by the Department of Finance with the exception of one measure – the Wealth Tax,” An Phoblacht was told.

“This is a measure the department refuses to cost. It is also one that they attack every year because it is, as they say, uncosted.

“The Wealth Tax is in our Budget plan this year,” the Sinn Féin insider insisted. “It is in it up top, as always, and in its usual format – 1% on net wealth assets over €1million with exceptions such as working farmland.”

The adviser added:

  • Sinn Féin does not believe the Government should reduce the deficit by €3billion this year – the state cannot take that level of adjustment after so much austerity
  • Sinn Féin will produce a fully-costed Budget submission with measures that add up to just roughly €2billion to €2.5billion.
  • Sinn Féin will include its Wealth Tax “but, as the Department of Finance won’t cost it, we don’t add it to our deficit reduction measures – we are dedicating it solely for our youth guarantee and job creation”.

The Sinn Féin insider emphasised:

“We have not dropped the Wealth Tax. It is included in our list of measures and is one of the first measures we discuss.”

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