The Programme for Government has committed to a 2:1 ratio between spending on services and tax measures in Budget 2019, and according to the latest Taxpayer Sentiment Survey from Taxback.com, 52% of the public are in favour of this approach. Taxback.com surveyed over 1,600 of their customers nationwide to ascertain their confidence in Government spending of taxpayer contributions, and found that while the majority support the Taoiseach’s planned expenditure on infrastructure projects, 72% are less trusting of the Government’s ability to spend public money astutely.

Commenting on the findings, Eileen Devereux, Commercial Director at www.taxback.com,

“An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he wants the majority of any additional cash to go into improving public infrastructure rather than tax reduction, so may well be pleased to hear that 52% of our survey respondents also favour this approach. However, it also means that a sizeable 48% will be left disappointed on Budget day as they would rather see a reduction in taxes, and with the prospect of a general election looming, the Government will be hoping to get this portion of the population on side ahead of polling day.”

The Taxback.com survey also asked respondents:

Do you think the Government should introduce a third rate of tax of 43% on earnings above €80,000 in the next Budget?

Yes – 54%
No – 46%

In the main, do you trust the Government to allocate your tax contributions wisely?

No – 72.3%
Yes – 27.7%

Do you pay attention to the Budget announcement?

Yes – 87.4%
No – 12.6%

Ms. Devereux continued,

“A third tax rate has sparked much discussion of late, with studies showing that the introduction of a third rate of tax of 43% on earnings above €80,000pa could yield an additional €433 million for the Government in a full year. But not everyone is convinced that this is the best approach to take – 46% of our respondents wouldn’t agree with it, and given that 95% of survey respondents overall earn less than €80,000 a year, it seems that people are not just looking after their own interests and that the mantra of “tax the rich” is not necessarily populist thinking after all.”

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