Employers want to cut dole payments by 3%. They mentioned a few other ways for the government to save or raise money too, including an increase in the income levy, but the dole cut is the one making headlines.
But some taxes should not be hiked, namely corporation tax, VAT and excise duties.
Meanwhile Labour want a teen text tax, with a one cent charge on every SMS message. They also favour a new top tax rate, but only if you earn over 100K, so as not to annoy the majority of voters. I’m not sure why they picked 48% though. Why not 50%, or even 60%?
Fine Gael want to cut VAT, though I doubt 21.5% to 21% will make much difference to shoppers drawn across the border where its only 15%. They’re also offering a PRSI holiday to employers who take on new staff, paid for by a ‘solidarity levy’ on high earners and selling off the family silver (ESB, Bord Gais)
No doubt in a few years they’ll promise tax benefits to anyone who lost their shirt on the privatised shares.
With competition like this in the ideas marketplace, Fianna Fáil will probably win the next election.