Green Party sets out a more sustainable budget for 2013

2nd December, 2012

GP Budget Proposals 2013The Green Party today outlines how it would make up the €3.5 billion needed to close our Budget Gap in 2013.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan commented: ” Doing this exercise for real, using only accurate figures and proposing realistic and feasible measures, you understand that budget 2013 is not going to be easy for the Government.

For all their criticism at the time, they now know that the previous Government did make progressive budget adjustments, by hitting the better off ahead of the poor. The current government has tied itself in knots by committing not to increase income taxes and not to cut pay, however there are three structural reforms that could be introduced, which would help make the budget numbers work and help get the country back to work.”

Introduce a fair and efficient form of property tax

The shameless populism of Fianna Fail and other parties in opposing the introduction of a property tax will not get us anywhere. They know if they were in Government they would be introducing it, not because the Trokia says so but because we need to widen our tax base and not just tax our jobs out of existence. Phil Hogan has completely bungled the whole process and the Government is not now going to introduce the ‘site valuation’ model of property tax that they proposed in their own programme for Government. We would introduce such a valuation system for all land because in the coming years food prices and the value of our land is going to rise and we need a fair and efficient signal to make sure we use that finite resource wisely.

Integrate the Social Welfare and Tax Codes

We urgently need to integrate the information systems of the Department of Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners. We could then target our welfare supports to those in most need and get rid of the obstacles that prevent people doing some work once they are in the social welfare system for fear of loosing all their benefits. We have shown how this process could be started by allocating €140 million in our budget arithmetic to provide a refundable tax credit so that people on very low incomes can get some basic yet flexible protection.

It is only fair that multinational Corporations also play their part.

We need to keep the conditions that attract investment into our country but international corporations also need to play their part. Unlike the Government we would introduce a Financial Transaction Tax as one way of changing the economic model away from the sort of reckless financial speculation that got the world economy into trouble in the first place. We do need to keep our Corporate Tax rate in these difficult times but that does not mean we cannot work in co-operation with other Governments to close any unfair tax rules that allow multinational companies avoid taking on their fair share of social responsibility. The budget might not be the right place to address such measures but the Minister of Finance could use the opportunity to commit us to playing our part in helping close the most controversial loop-holes. Doing so would reinforce the reality that we are a responsible country and that has to be good for business in the long run. We think he should take up that opportunity.

See GP Budget Proposals 2013 at this link: