Despite severe criticism from Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael failed to submit to the Tax Commission

FINE Gael has not submitted anything to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare, whose report it has heavily criticized in recent days.

ánaiste Leo Varadkar said some of the commission’s recommendations “came straight out of Sinn Féin’s manifesto,” while other party officials said their proposals were “completely free” and “completely unworkable.”

But Fine Gael didn’t bow to the commission, and neither did Fianna Fáil, it turns out. In contrast, the Greens submitted proposals for consideration, as did a number of opposition parties, including Sinn Féin, Labor and the Social Democrats.

The Commission broadly recommended increasing property and consumption taxes while personal income taxes should not be increased in the medium to long term, with proposals to increase inheritance taxes and end exemptions and facilities for pensioners, among the measures included in their 500-page report.

Mr Varadkar’s comments were heavily criticized by some members of the commission, with Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty saying he was “stunned and disappointed” by the comments, while ESRI’s Barra Roantree said they were “not particularly helpful”.

Thereafter, Fine Gael escalated his attacks, describing his final report as “completely free”.

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond said most of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare’s proposals were “completely unworkable” – noting that Secretary of State Peter Burke said he “absolutely agreed” at an official Fine Gael media event to endorse his budget priorities on Tuesday sketch.

When asked why the Commission had not received a bill, a Fine Gael spokesman said: “Fine Gael’s views on taxation are set out in the Manifesto 2020 and implemented in the program for the Government.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he disagreed with Mr Varadkar’s criticism of the report. His party did not submit any proposals to the Commission for consideration either.

A spokesman for Fianna Fáil said: “The Taxation and Welfare Commission has been mandated by the Government to independently examine how taxation and welfare systems can best support economic activity and foster increased employment and wealth in Ireland.

“It would not be unusual for a governing party not to submit to a commission in order to remain factual.”

The Greens’ submission was written by Neasa Hourigan, who is currently suspended from the parliamentary group after voting against the government earlier this year on a Dáil motion regarding the National Maternity Hospital.

Ms Hourigan, writing on behalf of the Greens, calls for the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all residents of Ireland by 2024.

This payment, combined with a system of top-up payments where appropriate, would replace the existing welfare and pension system under the proposals, which are a long-standing Green Party policy.

In its final report, the Commission expressly recommended against the introduction of the UBI, since “the transition from our existing mixed model to a universal basic income model would be a fundamental and very expensive policy change – both from a welfare state and from a tax point of view”.

She added: “The Commission does not support this direction and considers it important to draw attention to concrete, affordable and workable reforms.” Despite severe criticism from Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael failed to submit to the Tax Commission

Fry Electronics Team

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