Tax on wealth and profits can resolve “overheating “dilemma while increasing investment in key infrastructure and services
Increased investment critical in public and affordable housing, affordable childcare, education and apprenticeships, public transport and climate measures
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit spokesperson on Finance and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight will challenge the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe over the Summer Economic Statement for refusing to consider wealth and profit taxes as a way to address the economic overheating and Brexit dilemma while continuing to increase needed investment and spending in key infrastructural areas such as public and affordable housing, affordable childcare, education and apprenticeships, public transport and climate measures.
Deputy Boyd Barrett will say:
“The current debate about the Summer Economic Statement and budgetary tricks is based on a false dilemma of whether or not there is a Hard Brexit. While a Hard Brexit would be a very serious problem, even with that threat, we need to dramatically increase spending and investment in a number of key areas such as public and affordable housing, affordable childcare, further education and apprenticeships, if we are to deal with the growing problem of labour and skills shortages which are now a real threat to the economy.
“Equally, we now need massive investment in dealing with the climate emergency and major infrastructural crisis’ facing the country- most notably investment in public transport, water infrastructure and home insulation and forestry.
“Investment in these areas has to happen whether or not we face a Hard Brexit or not, but will be even more important if there is a significant Brexit impact on our economy.
“The government dilemma on how to frame the budget only exists because they refuse to raise significant extra revenue by taxing wealth and profits which have increased exponentially over recent years. Even in the US, a serious debate is starting about wealth taxes and the need to close the gap between the super wealthy and the rest of society.
“Yet, Fine Gael refuses to even consider an issue like wealth tax, increased tax on profits or wealth redistribution.
“Unless we make the very wealthy and big corporations pay a fairer contribution in tax in order to provide services and infrastructure we simply will not be able to develop a sustainable economy into the future, particularly with the huge challenges of the climate emergency, economic bottle necks and huge infrastructural deficits.
“Social deprivation, poverty and low pay are also not just social issues; they are also major economic problems for our economy. For example, we cannot deal with skill and labour shortages we are facing unless we deal with poverty traps that are keeping women, in particular, out of the work force, and cost of living issues, particularly housing, which are driving many of our skilled young people out of the country.”