Labour TD Ged Nash with Oxfam Ireland CEO Jim Clarken, Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik and other members of the Oireachtas, and representitves fromSocial Justice Ireland.
Labour TD Ged Nash has called on the government to consider targeted wealth taxes to address the shocking inequality that means 1% of Ireland’s population controls over a quarter of the country’s wealth.
Speaking at the launch of an Oxfam report which calls for an overhaul of taxation reforms to ensure a fairer distribution of wealth in the country, the Louth TD and Labour spokesperson on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform called for the implementation of the report’s recommendations.
The report Oxfam report points to a glaring wealth disparity in Ireland, explaining that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting even poorer.
Deputy Nash decried the staggering divide between the “haves and the have nots”, saying that “any country that is serious about arresting the fragmentation of social cohesion needs to get serious about answering the inequality question”.
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The Labour TD challenged fellow legislators attending the launch at Leinster House saying they, together with other policy makers need to take a cue from the report and act to address social inequality.
“Looking at all these wealth inequalities we have to admit that this leads to the degradation of the social fabric and has shattered social cohesion.”
Deputy Nash argued: “Ireland is a very rich country and it is not acceptable that wealth is concentrated in the hands of the mere top five per cent.”
Oxfam Ireland’s CEO, Jim Clarken said: “It was 10 years ago when we first sounded the alarm about extreme inequality at the World Economic Forum and yet since then the world’s billionaires have almost doubled their wealth.”
The Oxfam report reveals that a wealth tax on elite Irish wealth at graduated rates of 2%, 3% and 5% above a high threshold of €4.7 million would raise €8.2 billion annually.
The report says this kind of income has the potential to transform Irish public services in key sectors like health, housing and education while also delivering on Ireland’s international commitments.
“Oxfam believe that an international approach to taxing the super-rich is needed and we are calling for governments to introduce both permanent wealth taxes and temporary windfall taxes,” Mr Clarken concluded,