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This TD wants to tax lotto winnings to pay for more teachers

Stephen Donnelly also wants us to team up with the NHS and make Irish Water more efficient.

INDEPENDENT TD STEPHEN Donnelly has called for PRSI payments to be equalised for all workers, and the introduction of tax on online gambling winnings.

Donnelly made the proposals in his pre-Budget submission, which he unveiled today.

The Wicklow and East Carlow TD said that equalising the amount of PRSI paid by public and private sector workers could net €150 million.

The submission states that a further €50 million could be raised through applying a 15% employer’s PRSI rate on the portion of salaries above €150,ooo.

The document, which was compiled by Donnelly and a number of economic and legal experts, states that an additional €60 million could be raised if a tax was introduced on online gambling winnings.

Donnelly said that, if implemented, his Budget would reduce the deficit by €1 billion (2.5% of GDP) – half way between the ‘neutral’ budget being advocated by some, and the €2 billion approach being suggested by others.

Alcohol and junk food

Donnelly also wants a 10 cent increase on beer, cider and spirits – something that could bring in €118 million.

A further €170 million could be raised if a junk food tax was brought in, apparently.

The submission also wants tax on tobacco to increase by 20 cent, and see 25g become the minimum size for a packet of rolling tobacco - raising €22 million.

It also states that banning below-cost selling of alcohol would raise €24 million.

donnelly measures 1

Donnelly thinks that €75 million could be made by introducing a levy on zoned land that remains undeveloped.

The document also notes that €275 million could be raised over four years through reclaiming AIB management pension top-ups.

A financial transaction tax could net a whopping €342 million, apparently.

Tax decreases

In terms of decreases, Donnelly wants to introduce stamp duty and mortgage repayment tax credits for local property tax, allow co-habiting couples to be jointly assessed for income tax purposes,  halve the pension fund levy, and introduce tax credits of 20% for childcare.

Donnelly told Pat Kenny on Newstalk that in areas such as Dublin or North Wicklow, if a second parent were to return to work, a salary of €50,000 would leave them with nothing due to the high cost of childcare. He added that a salary of  €70,000 would leave them with less than the basic scoial welfare payment.

Here’s a list of the submission’s proposed Revenue decreases:

donnelly measures 2

Focus on education

In terms of expenditue, Donnelly wants the number of teachers in both primary and secondary schools to increase by 10%, costing €260 million.

Donnelly told Kenny that applying Capital Gains Tax on winnings from the Lottery that exceed €25,000 would net enough (€106 million) to pay for the additional primary school teachers.

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He’s also calling for the Early Childhood Education Scheme to be extended to 2 years, at a cost of €175 million.

Referendum on Irish Banking Crisis Stephen Donnelly Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

The document proposes that more funding be pumped into the areas of mental health, literacy, supporting mortgage holders and promoting the arts.

In relation to expenditure decreases, Donnelly thinks that reducing tax ememptions by 3% could raise €345 million, while abolishing the home renovation inventive would bring in €30 million.

Generic drugs

The documents states that if Ireland was to co-purchase generic pharmaceutical drugs with the NHS in the UK over a 3 year period, it could net €329 million.

Donnelly also proposes bringing in an efficiency programme at Irish Water to raise some €60 million.

You can read his full pre-Budget submission here. Sinn Féin launched its submission yesterday, while Fianna Fáil is expected to do the same tomorrow.

The Government Budget will be announced next Tuesday – a tax cut of some sort is expected, but that’s all we really know so far.

Read: The government says they’ll cut our taxes in the Budget, but how are they going to do it?

Read: Sinn Féin wants to abolish water charges, property tax and JobBridge

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Órla Ryan

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