RENUA HAS BLAMED “technical issues” for the removal of a flat tax calculator from its website yesterday.
The tax calculator was launched to coincide with the party’s symposium on its radical proposal to abolish the current income tax regime, USC, and PRSI and replace them with a single flat rate of 23%.
Everybody, irrespective of income, would pay this rate with tax rebates to low income households on a sliding scale to avoid any drastic fall in their take home pay.
The proposal has been criticised by other parties as disproportionately impacting people on low incomes. But Renua has insisted that tax rebates would make up for any loss of income.
Some users of the calculator took to Twitter yesterday to point out how those on the minimum wage would be worse-off by the introduction of one flat rate:
The calculator then disappeared from Renua’s website with a password required to access it:
This morning, Labour TD Anne Ferris questioned why the calculator had been removed asking if Renua was “embarrassed” by a “regressive policy that would benefit the highest income earners in society most and put high taxes on minimum wage workers”.
Their own income tax calculator yesterday showed that someone working on the minimum wage will actually end up paying more per year in income tax under their flat tax proposal, while a high income earner will pay less in income tax per year.
Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy was also sceptical about the reasons for the calculator’s removal:
It seems a bit strange that Renua has removed its flat tax calculator from its website. Perhaps it wasn’t eliciting the responses the party expected.
She said the Renua’s flat tax proposal would “substantially increase taxation on those on lower incomes, therefore substantially reducing incentives to work”.
But a spokesperson for Renua insisted that “technical issues” were to blame for the calculator’s removal without expanding further. Asked when the calculator would be reinstated, they said it it would be when these issues are resolved.