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Freight group warns against USC change

The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has maintained a proposal to replace Ireland’s Universal Social Charge (USC) with a rise in the cost of diesel “is senseless and would hit the price of food, consumer goods and public transport”.

FTA Ireland’s pre-budget submission to the Department of Finance called for retention of USC as an employment tax, but with a progressive increase in the income level at which employees are asked to pay the 5.5% rate. Ireland remains a heavily indebted country with a massive hole in its social welfare pensions fund.

In the last week, the Department of Finance has floated alternatives to USC such as a rise in diesel prices and increased property tax. FTA Ireland says the replacement of a progressive tax on income with an increase in diesel prices is fiscally illogical.

FTA Ireland General Manager Neil McDonnell said: “The cost of goods, services and travel for work and leisure are heavily influenced by the cost of diesel. It makes no sense whatsoever for the Finance Minister to transfer the taxation burden from direct income taxes to indirect spending taxes.

“This will simply narrow the tax base at the expense of food prices, consumer goods prices, services, and public travel. We call on the Finance Minister to confirm he will not increase taxes on fuel in this year’s budget.”

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