We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
pay packet

'There's no way USC can be abolished overnight'

The suggestion of more taxes to offset any further reduction in the charge hasn’t been ruled out.

THE TÁNAISTE has said any attempts to reform the universal social charge (USC) will be carried out as part of ‘broader changes’, and hasn’t ruled out introducing other taxes to offset the loss in revenue.

“No one could say, and I want to be clear on this, that they could abolish the USC, or reduce it absolutely, overnight,” Joan Burton said.

She said it can reduced, but only in stages as part of other initiatives to get more people back to work, and along with further growth and expansion.

“It’s going to be a mixture of different things,” she told RTÉ Radio 1′s This Week programme.


The Tánaiste stressed that the charge has been an important source of income for the Government’s coffers, raising a total of €4 billion and allowing more investment to take place in the last Budget.

She noted that when she met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny after becoming Labour leader, she “put down a marker” that USC should be reformed – “I’m delighted that we’ve begun that process”.

In the wide-ranging discussion as part of This Week’s series of interviews with party leaders, the Tánaiste also said that reform of the Government’s Economic Management Council (EMC) has taken place in recent months.

image00 The Tánaiste speaking to the programme. RTÉ News Now RTÉ News Now

Burton had previously criticised this group – consisting of the Taoiseach, Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure, and the Tánaiste in her role as Social Protection – as being too ‘secretive’.

“The style has changed,” she said, explaining that, where appropriate, the Ministers with responsibility for big-budget areas like health and education are brought into discussions.

The Tánaiste was also pressed on some discrepancies in official Government figures, with presenter Colm Ó Mongain noting that in one announcement Enda Kenny said that 330,000 jobs were lost during the recession, but in another announcement this figure had decreased to 250,000.

Burton said ‘you’ll have to ask the statistical people about that one’.

Originally published 2.30pm

Read: There’s MORE good news for Enda and Joan in the latest opinion poll >

More: Forgot about these Budget changes? They kicked in this month >

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.