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August 14, 2018

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Fact Checker

A wealth tax was tried in the 1970s Michael and was a huge failure.

It was fine in theory but all sorts of special interests got busy looking for exemptions. The legislation was subject to huge amounts of amendments. One of the drafters of the legislation told me he spent a hundred hours sitting in Leinster House at committee proceedings and debates!

By the time it came in the yield was far lower than expected due to exemptions and avoidance and it was scrapped a few years later.

A wealth tax is also difficult to comply with (and audit) as wealth is much harder to assess than income.


Finally - there are all sorts of wealth taxes already. CGT is not indexed to inflation so is effectively a tax on wealth. Motor taxation is a tax on wealth. The LPT is a tax on wealth. Collectively they raise about 1% of GNI*.

Administratively and economically we don't need another wealth tax sitting on top.

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