Only Labour will increase take-home pay for low to middle income people

21 February 2016

The Labour Party is today outlining its proposals to increase the take-home pay of low to middle income working people.

Labour’s proposed tax plan of changes to USC and PRSI will mean that those on average earnings will benefit most from the recovery that we have delivered.

The proposal has three main elements:

  • We will eliminate USC on the first €72,000 of individual income. We will do this over a five-year period;
  • We will change the PRSI system so as to provide relief for workers earning between €18,000 and €36,000 per annum;  
  • We will gradually withdraw the benefit of personal tax credits for those earning more than €100,000 so that high earners (more than €120,000) will pay the same tax as they do now.

Speaking today, Tánaiste Joan Burton said: “Labour has set out in more detail than any other party how we will improve the services which workers and families need.


“The USC was introduced as an emergency measure at the start of the economic crisis. Now that we have delivered a recovery, halved unemployment, and with confidence increasing, it is right that we should now focus tax reductions on those on low to middle incomes.


“Sinn Fein are not proposing to reduce USC for low-middle income people. Fianna Fail are offering an effective tax giveaway for higher earners. The Labour Party’s offering is unique.”


Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin also said: “The majority of teachers, doctors, and nurses are on low to middle incomes. Average earnings are not high. Over the years of the economic downturn and deep recession, they also had to endure cuts and reductions.


“Now that we have an economic recovery, it is right that they should be the primary beneficiaries of the package of tax reductions that we are proposing. And, of course, it is not just teachers, nurses, or Gardai who will benefit from our proposals- it also includes all other private sector workers.


“Labour’s offering in this regard is distinct from that being put forward by all other parties in this election.”


John Lyons, Labour Deputy for Dublin North-West, added: “Labour wants to make sure work pays for low and middle income workers. As well as abolishing the USC for those earning below €72,000, we will increase the minimum wage to a living wage. This demonstrates Labour’s focus on making the economic recovery feel real for working families right across the country.”

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