A FINE GAEL TD has launched a ‘tax transparency calculator’ which allows people to see how the government spends their tax.
Dublin South-East deputy Eoghan Murphy has used figures from the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform to create a tool which allows users to see how the money they handover to the tax man is spent.
“For example, you can see how many euros of your taxes are spent on things like primary education, roads, the Gardai, paying off interest on the national debt – even the cost to you personally of the Oireachtas,” Murphy explained.
The calculator asks users to input their gross pay, the type of worker they are, their martial status, how many children they have, and what age-category they fall into.
The spending budget breakdown is divided into areas including social protection, health, education, and justice but Murphy hopes if the Department of Finance adopts a similar tool they could provide much more information.
“I haven’t broken agriculture, I haven’t broken down social protection. If it was published on the Department of Finance website it would be more credible, more authoritative,” he said.
He said that it is important to inform people as much as possible about the way in which their money is spent and wants similar calculators to work out how VAT, excise, property taxes and business rates are spent.
Murphy continued: “The next level would be to apply it to the property tax so that every council would have a breakdown of how much money is spent on street cleaning, parks and so on.”
The deputy hopes to discuss the calculator with officials from the Department of Finance on Monday and believes they are “up for the idea”.
Last November Murphy introduced a Tax Transparency Bill in the Dáil which the government did not oppose but it has not yet come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee.