Tax commission member disappointed at Varadkar's 'Sinn Féin manifesto' comment

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar described some recommendations in the final report as "straight out of the Sinn Féin manifesto"
Tax commission member disappointed at Varadkar's 'Sinn Féin manifesto' comment

James Cox

A member of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare has expressed disappointment at Government criticism of its recommendations.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar described some recommendations in the final report as "straight out of the Sinn Féin manifesto".

John Mark McCafferty said the comment was inappropriate.

He told Newstalk: "The comments were very unhelpful, they're a serious precedence. I wonder what senior politicians will say of future commissions like the housing commission or similar appointed commissions of working groups."

"There are things that quite frankly, are straight out of the Sinn Féin manifesto," Mr Varadkar said on Wednesday.

Inheritance tax

"Increasing inheritance tax, for example, increasing taxes on people's savings. There's no way that's going to happen while Fine Gael is in Government.

"I can categorically say that there are no plans to increase employers' PRSI in the forthcoming budget."

He added: "So you have a mixed bag of things that I agree with, [and] things that simply won't happen, certainly not under this Government.”

A spokesperson for the Tánaiste was later forced to clarify that Mr Varadkar does not believe the commission was infiltrated by Sinn Féin.

Speaking today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he disagreed with Mr Varadkar's comments.

However, he said the Tánaiste had complimented the report at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and said there were some proposals in it that he strongly favoured, The Irish Times reports.

Mr Martin said: “I think one has to read the [taxation] report in its entirety. And the authors did not envisage that any proposal had to be implemented in this budget or the next budget.

“What they are trying to create is a medium- to long-term framework around how does the Irish economy generate revenue over the next 10 to 15 years whilst dealing with different demographics and ageing population.

“As a philosophical level, it moves towards less taxes on labour, more on consumption, and property. There are genuine issues to be debated and argued there as well."

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