The Community Platform
Overwhelming Public Support for a Tax on Wealth
Research commissioned by the Community Platform reveals overwhelming public support for a Wealth Tax.
As part of the 4Steps2 Recovery Progressive Tax Campaign, the Community Platform included a question on OmniPoll, Ipsos MRBI’s telephone Omnibus to measure support for the introduction of a wealth tax. A nationally representative sample of just over 1,000 adults aged 15+ were asked whether they would agree or disagree that the Government should introduce a wealth tax on individuals who have net assets valued at more than one million euro and who have an annual income of more than €100,000.
A total of 82% of the respondents agreed that the Government should introduce this tax. Interestingly, high levels of support were reflected across all age groups, regions and social classes.
According to Anne Costello of the Community Platform, ‘The Government’s Plan for National recovery 2011-2014 was a scandalous and unacceptable assault on the most vulnerable. The proposals to cut the minimum wage and the prospect of further cuts to social welfare must be resisted. Individuals and families are struggling to keep their heads above water and we are putting them at further risk in order to pay the price for the greed and corruption of the banking sector’. The poverty figures for 2009 released yesterday show the impact on people as they struggle to survive. Poverty is on the increase in Ireland for the first time in many years and we are seeing people who now cannot afford the equivalent of a hot dinner being further undermined. Where were the proposals for maximum wage? Where were the proposals for the salaries of TDs to be cut?
“The Community Platform rejects the Government’s deflationary cuts agenda. The ultimate result of this policy will be reduced spending, job losses and the erosion of essential public services that thousands of families depend upon. It is a strategy that will ensure national recession, not national recovery’.
Banking expert, Peter Mathews speaking at the launch of the findings congratulated the Community Platform for putting forward this proposal and agreed that it made sense and merited consideration by the Government.
While welcoming the Governments long overdue acknowledgement that ‘Tax expenditures and reliefs must be abolished or restricted; high earners cannot shelter themselves from paying their fair share of tax’ the Community Platform argues that the proposals in the plan are still far short of being progressive. We believe that those with significant wealth in Ireland must be required to pay their share and the 4 year plan refuses to tackle this issue head on.
‘In September the Community Platform launched its ‘4Steps2Recovery’ campaign. We outlined four realistic measures that would raise €3bn from unproductive wealth and would tackle the deficit, protect the vulnerable and maintain consumer demand. We advocated increased tax payments from the wealthy, protected sections of Irish society. One of our proposals was for a wealth tax on those with significant assets and high incomes. A wealth tax would not discriminate between different forms of property. It would levy all property whatever its form – including financial wealth. Goodbody stockbrokers estimate total net wealth in Ireland to be in excess of €470bn. Many other European countries have wealth taxes and on the basis of their experiences, a wealth tax could raise between €500 million and €1billion in tax revenue when fully operational.
The research conducted as part of Ipsos MRBI’s OmniPoll reveals overwhelming public support for this idea. ‘An interesting aspect of the research is that support for the proposal extends across all gender, age, class and regional categories. There is a remarkable unity across all sections of society that those with the most must be required to pay their fair share.’