The Green Party said today that tax receipts 7.6% below projected targets should serve as a warning against narrowing the tax base in Budget 2018, and a reminder that investing in the productive economy to clear infrastructural bottlenecks should remain the priority.
Speaking in response to the figures, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD, a member of the Oireachtas Budget Oversight Committee, said that although the figures are just one bad month in a broadly positive trend, they should act as a warning against complacency.
He said: “The tax receipt figures for March should act as a warning to Government against further narrowing of the tax base in Budget 2018. While the economic trends in tax receipts have been broadly positive in Q1, we must remain alert to see if the disappointing figures in March become a trend.
“The Government must remain vigilant against premature reductions in tax rates, and caving in to every spending demand on the public purse. If they go down that route, it will prove that no lessons have been learned from the crash.
“It is only one bad month, but it comes at the start of the Budget 2018 process. The Government must resist the pressure to make easy political decisions when it comes to spending and tax. Priority must be given to clearing the economic bottlenecks in public transport, housing, broadband and energy infrastructure. The long term economic benefit to the country must be put first, rather than short term political considerations.”