Finance Minister to target 'unfair' tax rates in next Budget

Paschal Donohoe said he will continue to introduce changes in a way that is 'affordable and incremental'

Finance Minister to target 'unfair' tax rates in next Budget

Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Sam Boal/

The Finance Minister will be targeting what he calls 'unfair' tax rates in the next Budget.

Paschal Donohoe wants to make sure workers on average wages are not caught up in higher tax bands.

He was speaking ahead of the Government's annual pre-budget feedback session, which is taking place today at Dublin Castle.

The National Economic Dialogue will see business groups, unions and social campaigners pitching their priorities to ministers.

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Minister Donohoe outlined his priorities for the upcoming Budget.

He said: "I think it is unfair that somebody who is on an average wage is already on the higher rate of income tax.

"Ireland is an outlier in terms of you pay the higher rate of income tax at a comparatively low level of income... I want to continue to change that, but I'm going to do that in a way that is affordable and that is incremental."

He stressed: "I do not want to add to any pressures within our economy, or unravel the progress that we have made in stabilising and then in bringing to balance our national finances."

'At risk'

Among the organisations attending today's event in Dublin is the Small Firms Association, which says a national strategy is needed to support homegrown companies.

Linda Barry from the SFA says many smaller companies are still under pressure.

She observed: "The big thing we're saying for Budget 2019 is that there cannot be any measures that are going to add additional costs to small business.

"The competitiveness of our economy is already being called into question. We're at risk of going down the route, as we have done in the past, where in times of economic growth we let costs spiral out of control."

Business group IBEC, meanwhile, said more actions "around housing and long-term investments that ease capacity pressures" are needed to help indigenous businesses.