Lack of ambition and long-term economic planning laid bare in today’s C&AG report

September 29, 2017

Today’s Comptroller and Auditor General’s report highlights the government’s lack of ambition and long-term planning when it comes to managing our economy, the Social Democrats said today.

The party’s co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said the government’s reliance on a small number of large corporations for its corporate tax base was ample evidence that mistakes of the past have not been taken on board.

Deputy Murphy said:

“Today’s report from the C&AG really makes for dismal reading. Once again, we see an over-reliance on a fragile and volatile tax base, with 37 per cent of corporation tax receipts coming from just ten corporate firms.

“The Department of Finance has cautioned about the risks inherent in this over-reliance on a small cohort of large corporate taxpayers. Yet the government insists in pursuing this flawed model which has echoes of previous eras when the Exchequer was over-reliant on stamp duty.

“As if that wasn’t worrying enough, we also learn that only 13 of the top 100 companies pay an effective rate of tax of less than 1% – significantly below the 12.5 per cent headline rate. This no doubt reflects the use of significant tax credits and reliefs, in particular double taxation relief and research and development tax credits.

“Yet at the same time the report points to a debt burden which is relatively high by international comparisons. Many people will be rightly dumbfounded and appalled that it is actual government policy to forgo substantial corporate tax revenue while at the same time using public money to service the long-term debt resulting from the bank bail-out which is estimated in the report at between €1 billion and €1.4 billion a year.”


29 September 2017