Tax the rich - to 110%


The whole point of taxing the rich was to redistribute to the poor.

Therefore taxing the poor doesnt make sense, if the purpose is to collect money in order to give them back their own money. Thats a negative sum game, as it costs money to administer that system. Better to let them keep their money from the start.

All tax and spending, should be looked at primarily, from the point of view of incentives. Does a tax encourage someone to be productive? Our present sytem encourages people to produce nothing and consume nothing

My prescription-
1)Abolish USC
2)Reduce 20% tax rate to 10%
3)Reduce 41% tax rate to 25%
4)Pay for it by reducing public sector salaries
5)Pay for it by abolishing tax free lump sums.
6)Pay for it by cutting social welfare, across the board, to subsistence levels.

Lower taxes => lower wages => more hiring => more productivity => more consumption => economic boom


Are there stats for what percentage of the country’s wealth is owned by that 5% though? If they own 40% of the country, paying 40% of the taxes isn’t a disproportionate burden.

(Not a loaded question, I honestly don’t know what the breakdown is).


I was just looking at this yesterday when Osborne came out with this (Daily Mail warning):

Here are the figures from the 2010 SILC (PDF)

Decile			Social Transfers	Tax and Social Contribution		Weekly to exchequer
<254.79  			156.28				3.17								  -153.11
<336.35  			261.55				3.66								  -257.89
<468.15  			310.47				10.07								 -300.40
<583.87  			384.01				18.35								 -365.66
<720.52  			359.29				41.04								 -318.25
<895.40  			356.51				83.04								 -273.47
<1,142.51			310.57				147.47								-163.10
<1,464.28			264.83				228.83								-36.00
<2,100.47			193.73				400.43								206.70
>2,100.47			364.11				921.78								557.67


Been banging this drum a long time but Irish Governments just dont do change. They tinker with the rates and bands but would never do a wholesale change like the above. And its funny that nearly always their electoral manifesto is all about change.


I dont know what the answer is but you make a very good point.

However as I have said before, taxing income is not solution.
Tax the assets; capital gains and inheiritance taxes should be raised.

Again, we need to heavily tax Land and Capital; property as well as savings and investments above a certain threshold, financial investments, inheiritances and Pensions. BTL should have no tax advantages whatsoever.
Taxes on productive areas of the economy - Labour and Enterprise - should be massively reduced.

Ireland does not really have a taxation problem, it has a spending problem.


Your forgot ‘Collect underpants’ in your all-encompassing economic analysis.


Could you add a column showing the Tax burden for each income segment? Total Tax Paid divided by Total Income. Column E divided by Column C (%). That might make an interesting graph.


Youre unable to refute my argument so you ridicule it. A classic juvenile debating trick. Sorry, it doesnt work on us.

Let me guess. You make your living off the taxes, that are gouged out of the rest of us, rich and poor alike?


This is far from axiomatic. Another viewpoint point is that tax is primarily to fund services and infrastructure that we collectively require as a society: roads, police, schools, hospitals and whatnot.

While we certainly don’t want people to starve I’m not at all sure that it’s desirable for the majority of taxes to be used for income redistribution. Leads to creation of underclasses, flight of your most productive citizens, poverty traps, i.e. what we have now, more or less.


What’s with the ‘us’ ?

Personally, I thought spunick’s refutation of your sentence as it stands compelling.


Spudnicks “all-encompassing economic analysis”


sssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh…move along now…nothing to see hear…


too many people drawing social welfare so raise the rate of PRSI (even though benefits are capped)

they couldn’t be that stupid could they?

even a five year old would see that if you raise income tax (employee/self employed PRSI is income tax) and don’t lower social welfare you will end up with more people on social welfare.

What they are doing is filing the point of the pyramid on which the whole system is balancing more and more finely - there will come a point where it will break and the whole thing falls over. I think we are very close to the tipping point in terms of any more tax increases - if you get to a situation that person on welfare with couple of kids takes home 36k in benefits and you need to earn 70k to take home 40k then we are really through the looking glass


Can’t say anything sensible about wealth, but for income the spreadsheet indicates that:
The top 10% have over 33% of the income and pay over 55% of the tax
The top 5% have about 25% of the income and pay over 40% of the tax
To add some context:
The bottom 30% have less than 7% of the income and pay about 0.11% of the tax (about 13 million)
The bottom 80% have less than 50% of the income and pay about 27% of the tax

Let’s not oversimplify - there are a couple of messages:

  1. A very high percentage of tax is paid by a small percentage of earners
  2. Income distribution is very unequal


Thanks for the unasked-for clarification of my thoughts on the matter. I believe I was only slagging yours, which sounded like you were giving yourself an enormous pat on the back for having come up with the notion of ‘trickle-down economics’ all by yourself.

Me, I’m in no position to figure it all out. I’m just pretty sure that both taxing the arse out of the rich (who just wriggle it out) and your revolutionary trickle-down ideas (which tends to work out disproportionately well for one end of society) are not the answers here.


The majority of comments in this thread remind me of the old joke:

“A banker, daily mail reader and unemployed person sit down at a table - which has 10 buns on it. After a moment the banker takes 9 buns and gets up to leave. As he leaves he says to the daily mail reader - “You better watch that fellow, I think he is going to steal your bun””

In this case the banker is equivalent to the truly rich in ireland and the majority of pinsters making comments in this thread are daily mail readers.

See: … tml?via=mr

The top decile of Irish income earners increased their income by 8% in the years of the height of the crises (2008-2009) while everyone else got poorer or much much poorer.


Is this guy some type of Fine Gael troll? (Brian Hayes springs to mind)


I would think it’s pretty high. (There was some mention of numbers on the Frontline debate on wealth tax on Monday). It stands to reason that if your income is high you are going to own a bigger share of the country’s wealth. On the other hand, if you have already paid tax on your income, what’s the justification for taking your assets off you?


Your wish is my command.

Average tax % per income segment:
(EDIT: Note that, as per original article, PRSI, USC and PS Pension levy are not included)

I also added the percent of total income earned to the percent of total tax paid graph:


Thanks dude! I decided to throw together my own chart.