herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Kenny pledge to slash USC rate if FG are returned

The Taoiseach has pledged that the Universal Social Charge for those earning less than €70,000 will be reduced in the next Budget.

Enda Kenny has also promised that the rate will be reduced in subsequent budgets - but only if Fine Gael is returned to power.

Mr Kenny also signalled further tax reductions could be on the cards.

"For the Government's part, we have begun the process of cutting income taxes for workers, with a focus on low and middle-income earners," he said speaking at the CEO Conference 2015.

"When we last met, I said that the 52pc tax rate on middle-income earners was anti-jobs, anti-enterprise and anti-investment."

He confirmed "the process of equalising" the income tax treatment of the employed and the self-employed was currently under way.

"Work must pay more than welfare and those in full-time work should not be poor," he said. "Too often, this is not the case."

The Taoiseach said that once the Low Pay Commission made its first recommendation, the Government would "respond" by the October Budget.

Separately, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said low paid public servants will be first in line for pay increases during the upcoming wave of negotiations.

Talks on restoring public sector pay will take place shortly after the Government scrutinises the next set of exchequer returns due around Easter.

TALKS

Government officials have already begun preparing for the talks with trade unions and will emphasise that any new pay deal will have implications on the prospect of tax cuts and spending measures in the Budget.

Several public sector unions have already begun to lay out their cards ahead of the beginning of the talks next month.

hnews@herald.ie

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