New help-to-buy scheme “doesn’t seem to make sense” - Renua

Party statement attacks the “onerous tax burden that many taxpaying workers face in this country”

A Renua Ireland statement released just as Michael Noonan took to his feet to outline the details of Budget 2017 has called for a tax strategy that would “have as many people as possible in the tax net, but paying low marginal rates.”

The statement also attacked the new help-to-buy scheme which the government introduced for first time buyers.

The party highlighted the “onerous tax burden that many taxpaying workers face in this country” and called for a widening of the entry point into the higher marginal rate from €33,800 to €44,800 over a five-year-period.

They say the plan – which would cost €1.88bn – would provide a greater incentive to get people working and would reward initiative.

The party favours a strategy that focuses on tax cuts ahead of spending increases with the view that taxpayers are being used as “scapegoats.”

“In 2006 Ireland had just over two million people working in the economy and they paid €12.4 billion in income tax which accounted for just over 27 per cent of the total tax burden," they said.

“In 2016, Ireland will again have just over two million people at work in the economy, but this year those who pay income tax will hand over €19 billion, which will account for over 40 per cent of the total tax take.

“The fact is that those who create employment and those who work generate the resources that fund social and other forms of government expenditure,” they said.

The new help-to-buy scheme for first-time buyers also came in for criticism with the statement saying the idea “doesn’t seem to make sense” as there are currently not enough new builds available.

They reject the idea that the new incentive will be worth up to €20,000 per couple as they expect developers to simply add the money to the price of the home with new houses becoming “increasingly unaffordable for those seeking to buy them.”

The Renua strategy would have introduced an interim 9% VAT rate on construction to lower the cost of building alongside a fast-track planning process for larger developments.

The party also rejected the government’s €5 increase to the disability allowance saying targeted increases based on severity of need would be more effective than the flat increase that has been included in today’s announcement.

Renua want a "commission on the cost of disability" aimed at introducing targeted funds for those who need it most in next year’s budget.