SIR – My office has received several phone calls from constituents angered and fearful over the large tax bills they are now facing. Tax bills are ranging anywhere from a couple of hundred euro to €6,000 allegedly in one instance, payable by PUP-TWSS recipients.
I cannot countenance how the government think it fair to impose hefty tax bills on struggling households retrospectively, to balance the books on wasteful government spending. Too many people have lost their jobs. Too many livelihoods lost. Too many businesses gone for good.
How does the government expect a public which has financially struggled through a global pandemic these past few months, to cough up thousands to settle the government’s accounts? At least 419,000 Irish people can expect tax liabilities on the PUP-TWSS in the next few years, with 132,300 of these being over €1,000
When the PUP and TWSS schemes were brought in by the government, it was done on the basis that these would be tax-exempt supports. As was said by government TDs to their constituents, why should the Irish people have to pay the cost of a pandemic that wasn’t their fault?
Then the PUP was cut, and those on the PUP attacked as creaming it by government TDs. Then, in the Finance Committee, the government railroaded through an amendment over opposition from Aontú and other parties in the opposition to allow them to tax the PUP. Now they have used these steps to levy large tax bills on those who relied on the PUP or TWSS to survive these past few months.
Government TDs and Ministers have refused to take a pay cut throughout the pandemic, even when temporarily whenever the country is put into lockdown. Even worse than that, the government has given TDs pay raises and Super Junior Ministers were given bumps to their Ministerial salaries, whilst millions have been expended employing an army of special advisors to advise a calamity prone government.
The government would do well to carry some of the load themselves, rather than instinctively putting the financial woes of this nation onto our people.
Peadar Tóibin, TD,
Sráid Chill Dara,
Baile Átha Cliath 2.