27 September 2016

Labour TD and spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Alan Kelly, has slammed media reports of government plans for a so-called ‘emigrants tax’ as preposterous.

According to newspaper reports today, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, is considering offering a 30 per cent tax rate to highly-skilled Irish workers currently living overseas, in a bid to entice them home. The lower rate would apply to workers earning more than 75 thousand euro in specialist areas.

“If true, these proposals reported today are preposterous. The idea that workers would be given two different tax rates for doing the same job amounts to a form of discrimination,” said Deputy Kelly.

“Furthermore, workers sitting side by side would have different opportunities to improve their families’ living standards, while being able to better compete for housing and childcare due to their larger income.  This is obviously inequitable and unfair.

“That these proposals would reportedly only apply to those earning more than 75 thousand euro would not address the need to bring home nurses, teachers, construction workers or very few junior doctors. This smacks of Fine Gael playing to their audience and shows the dangers of a government with a pure Fine Gael agenda.

“The best way to get Irish workers back into the country is to ensure that there is equal pay and better working conditions across the health, education, hospitality and infrastructure industries.”

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