No appetite in Government to reduce inheritance tax threshold, Taoiseach says

The Taoiseach has said there is “no appetite” in Government to reduce the inheritance tax threshold.

icheal Martin said he believed many families would be “disadvantaged” if the thresholds were reduced.

His comments come after reports suggested the Commission on Taxation and Welfare has proposed to drastically reduce the amount of money parents can leave to their children tax-free.

A report by the Commission is set to be published on Wednesday.

Mr Martin said: “I don’t believe there’s an appetite in Government to reduce that threshold.

“Many, many families and family homes I think would be disadvantaged by that.

“We’re talking after all about people who have bought their family homes with after income tax.

“Many people throughout their lives pay tax. And in fact, our taxation system is very progressive.

“Those on the highest earnings, pay the highest amount of tax. I think the top 20% pay up to 80% of income tax for example.

“So I think that proposal to say to people you’ve worked hard all on your life, we’ve bought your house….but now actually we want to take more off you when you die and you can’t leave it to family members, I think there’s an issue with that in terms of fairness.”

He added that the Government would look at the report in its entirety but “I don’t see that happening”.

Mr Martin made the comments at his parliamentary party think-in meeting at the Mullingar Park Hotel in Co Westmeath on Monday.

He said the Government would use the Budget to help people with the increased cost of living.

“We are now looking at price increases in energy that we have not seen the likes of ever before, not even in the terrible crises of the 70s when oil prices went up very high,” Mr Martin said.

“We’re looking at very, very high levels of increases, which are impacting on people’s livelihoods under household disposable incomes, and also threaten enterprises and threatened jobs so once again the Government will have to intervene to protect people first of all, in terms of basic incomes, and also to make sure that we protect jobs.“

He said the Government would also work with the European Union through the crisis.

“The European Union will be making its intervention in the marketplace to try and stabilise the energy market,” he said.

“But we also in the next number of weeks through a cost of living package, and the budget will bring in measures to alleviate the pressures on people insofar as we can and to the best and most substantial way that we can.”

He added that Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath are working on proposals with the three party leaders and that meetings would be held later in the week on the matter.

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