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Revenue Distorts 2011 Tax Analysis

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On 7th December 2010, the Department of Finance published Annexes to the Summary of 2011 Budget Measures in the context of the Budget presented by the Minister for Finance.

This Budget sought to reduce the Exchequer deficit by €6 billion by increasing taxes and cutting public expenditure. The former included reduced tax credits, replacement of health and income levies by a Universal Social Charge (USC) and the extension of PRSI.

The fourth page of Annex C dealing with the USC contained a chart   revenue_chart_2011.pdf and claims that "the overall taxation system remains highly progressive after the introduction of the USC". This chart has been distorted and misleading to justify this claim - look at the income range which is truncated and increases in irregular steps from 10,000 to 200,000. Is it any wonder that a highly progressive tax system is claimed!

Here is our version of this chart 2011_tax_comparison.pdf  which uses a regular scale for incomes up to €1 million in 10k steps. It shows that the tax system is highly progressive for people on low and middle incomes but flat lines for those with very high incomes. This directly contradicts the Government's claims. It also shows that the 2011 Budget changes will have the greatest impact on people with the lowest incomes.

A picture is only worth a thousand words when it doesn't distort the truth. It looks as though by publishing their chart, the Minister for Finance, Department of Finance and Revenue are engaged in deception regarding the progressiveness of the Irish tax system. Either that or they need to go back to school to learn how to draw graphs.

Other recent blog entries relating to the progressiveness of the Irish tax system include:

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Your version of the chart needs to be fixed. I think it is still the government chart.
Would be interested in seeing it scaled as you suggest. Your comment on Irish Economy was very persceptive re charts.

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This page contains a single entry by Brian published on December 8, 2010 12:32 PM.

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