Speaking in advance of the IBEC CEO Conference 2013 today (Thursday 28 February 2013) IBEC Chief Executive Danny McCoy said the economy and Irish workers are already taxed enough and there should be no further tax increases beyond those already announced. Tax increases were necessary due to the pressure on the public finances, but they should now end. The savings made as a result of the recent promissory note deal should also be partly used to ease the level of austerity over the next two years.
Mr McCoy said business had the potential to deliver annual growth rates double the EU average (i.e. between 3% and 4%) over the next 20 years. Strong growth will allow Ireland to overcome its debt woes and tackle the unemployment crisis.
The IBEC CEO Conference 2013 – The Business of Europe – brings together 400 of Ireland’s top business people at the Convention Centre, Dublin. It will be addressed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, along with top European and Irish business leaders (see www.ibec.ie/ceoconference <www.ibec.ie/ceoconference> for full details).
IBEC Chief Executive Danny McCoy said: “To reduce the negative impact on growth and job creation, the remaining economic adjustment should be made by reducing expenditure and growing the economy. This requires the government to pursue pro-enterprise, pro-business policies. We need a tax system that rewards work, but recent budgets have seen the tax burden increase dramatically. As a result of the introduction of the universal social charge and other changes to the personal tax regime, Ireland now has one of the highest marginal tax rates in the OECD. At 52%, the marginal tax rate at average earnings is well above the OECD average of 36%. It also kicks in at a relatively low income level.
“The latest Action Plan for Jobs includes many sensible and practical ideas that will improve the business environment, reduce the regulatory burden and make it easier for companies to expand and take on new staff. It is vital that these positive steps are not undermined by policies from other parts of government that would have the opposite effect. It is crucial that there is no increase in the cost of employment and that nothing is done to undermine the flexibility of the Irish labour market or the industrial relations environment.”