The American Chamber in Ireland nailed its colors to the mast without compromise. In a submission to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, it is said that almost 40 percent of multinational managers in the republic see personal taxes as an obstacle to growth.
In the Next Century Ireland submission, the board says its members want a pledge that the government will not raise personal taxes for the remainder of their term in office.
In fact, they want to see progress “to reduce this burden in order to bring it in line with international standards”.
Arguing against an increase in personal tax is a regular refrain from the Chamber and a recurring feature of their pre-budget wish-list. But in a year that Donohoe and Public Spending Minister Michael McGrath face tough decisions on how to wean Ireland Inc from the artificial life support introduced during the Covid pandemic and at least start tackling our world-public debt exceeding it, it is all the more pointed.
It’s also used in conjunction with another worn-out AmCham campaign piece – Investing in National Infrastructure.
Ireland is already facing annual budget deficits without accelerating infrastructure spending. And the extra capacity that was taken into account in the summer economic statement appears to be for housing, not roads or healthcare.
In any case, according to the OECD, we are not lagging behind international standards at all. The Taxing Wages 2021 report finds that the average Irish worker has a lower “tax and duty burden” – a measure of the total income tax paid by both the worker and employer – than anyone else EU members in the organization bar the Czech Republic (the former Czech Republic) and, depending on their circumstances, Poland.
And in terms of the average net tax rates paid by workers, Ireland ranks among the OECD average for single people and is one of the least burdened families, the report said.
On that occasion, after the minister got on its feet with his persistent refusal to adhere to the proposed global minimum corporate tax rate, the minister could have expected a little less rigor from US business leaders.
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