Wednesday, 10 December 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
51. Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Finance the number of taxpayers expected to be paying tax at the higher rate in 2004; the percentage of taxpayers this represents; the equivalent figures for 2003 and each of the previous three years; his views on whether it is desirable that such a high proportion of taxpayers should be paying at the higher rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30109/03]
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 10 from Deputy Joan Burton. I assume that what the Deputy requires is the number of higher-rate taxpayers as a percentage of all income earners on the tax record. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the information requested is as follows, rounded to the nearest thousand.
|Number of income earners||% of income earners
|2001 (short tax “year”)||516,000||28.3|
In that same period the numbers exempted from tax increased from 459,000 to 669,000, or from 27.5% to 35.3% of income earners. Relating the numbers in each group to income earners provides a more balanced and meaningful figure since it takes account of all those on the tax file and makes it clear that assessing the proportion of income earners on the higher rate must take account of the policy goal of increasing the numbers on low pay exempt from tax itself.
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