Let’s call a spade a spade.
It’s not an income levy, it’s a tax increase.
Depending on your income, Brian Lenihan just delivered you a tax increase of between up to two percent.
The minister is faced with a hole in the public finances, and to close the gap between revenue and expenditure he has only three options: borrow more, cut spending, or increase taxes.
Naturally he spread the pain, going for a little (or a lot) of each.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Only an idiot would rule out any option in a crisis.
So why is Lenihan so coy about his tax increase?
It’s not like the tax burden is disproportionate in Ireland.
Granted, it’s not as low as it was on Monday, but it’s low nonetheless.
Shame about the election pledge to ‘reducing the standard rate of income tax to 18% and the higher rate of income tax to 40% over the lifetime of the next government if economic resources allow’.
Oh wait. If Economic Resources Allow.
And with one bound, our hero is free.
Still, there’s four years until the next election. Plenty of time to make good and buy our votes in 2012.