ISME has renewed calls for the integration of the taxation and social welfare system in a submission to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare. In its submission, ISME has highlighted how the taxation and social welfare system are inherently interlined for the taxpaying-citizen, but has noted that the pace of reform in Ireland is too slow.
Neil McDonnell, CEO of ISME said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to make a submission to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare, thirteen years since the last Commission sat. It is interesting to reflect on the 2009 proposals and what has been introduced since. We have fought for the integration of the taxation and social welfare systems for many years, and welcome the fact that that the new Commission will address these two areas explicitly.”
ISME has outlined a number of recommendations for consideration by the Commission, including:
- Raising the Standard Rate Cut-Off Point to 95% of the average industrial wage as soon as possible.
- Pending removal of the 3% USC surcharge on the self-employed earning over €100,000, and apply this surcharge to all workers earning over €100,000.
- In order to encourage the stated goal of increasing private sector pension coverage:
- end the discrimination against private sector pension savers in the amount of income they can save for pensions;
- maintain marginal rate relief and extend it to all savers; and
- allow private sector workers with a chargeable excess tax liability, to discharge it in the same manner as a public sector worker.
- Set the basic rate for qualifying for the medical card at more than 30% above the comparable Jobseekers assistance rate.
- Replace the child element in the Jobseekers’ payments and all other welfare schemes by substantially increasing Child Benefit, phasing out Working Family Benefit, and at the same time making the Child Benefit taxable.
- Significantly increase the income thresholds for access to social housing and reform or remove the link between income and local authority rent.
Neil McDonnell added: “We consider it of exceptional importance that the recommendations of this Commission are considered by the Oireachtas with critical urgency. We believe that the pace of tax and social welfare reform in Ireland has been too slow and hope that the Commission will impress upon the legislature the priority that must be devoted to reform.”