No More Income Tax Hikes, Claims Lenihan

The Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has said there will be no further income tax increases this year.

The vow comes only a month after the Government doubled the income levies in the emergency budget. Despite the assurances, Mr Lenihan has confirmed that a property tax and a carbon tax were being considered.

Mr Lenihan said the Government would now focus on spending cuts rather than income tax hikes.

Speaking on the radio this morning, Mr Lenihan said: "The limits of income tax increases have been reached in this State.

"There's a limit to the extent we can increase tax to solve our economic problems. I wasn't anxious to increase tax this year, but when I saw the revenue base fall so dramatically, I was obliged to increase the income tax," he said on Newstalk's Lunchtime with Eamon Keane.

The minister said if he had not increased income taxes, nobody would have believed the Government was capable.

"But there's a very definite limit to it because taxes on income and labour are taxes on employment. We don't want to increase them indefinitely. That means I think the focus in the next budget has to be on the expenditure side rather than the taxation side," Mr Lenihan said.

"We are looking at a carbon tax, we're looking at a number of other initiatives, certainly household taxation is under consideration."


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