Cuts to 52% Tax Rate Won't Help Middle Earners

Publication cover - Cuts to 52 Tax Rate (TASC)
Cover image for Cuts to 52 Tax Rate (TASC)

TASC - Think-tank for Action on Social Change (


In response to recent remarks about tax cuts, TASC, Ireland’s independent progressive think tank, is calling for an open and honest discussion about taxation.

"Cuts to the higher rate of income tax will only help the top one in six earners" says Nat O’Connor, TASC’s Research Director. "The repeated claims by senior members of government that the 52% marginal tax rate needs to be cut to help middle and low income families is misleading."

"TASC’s research, backed-up up by official government figures, shows that only 17% of those paying income tax are paying at the higher rate. A cut to the 41% tax rate really benefits those on the highest incomes. Even then, people who pay only a small share of their income at the higher rate will only see a small benefit." Dr O'Connor concluded.

While welcoming the recent good news about the economy, TASC's analysis cautions that tax cuts will undermine these achievements.

Cormac Staunton, TASC's Policy Analyst explained that "Tax giveaways were a feature of the Celtic Tiger. They completely eroded our tax base, and led to a collapse in public finances that we still haven’t repaired. Spending on services and investment has been slashed across the board.

"If there is scope to “give something back” it should be spending on investment to promote job creation and to improve public services." Mr Staunton concluded.


Notes to Editors below

TASC is an independent progressive think-tank. Our vision is of a flourishing society based on economic equality and democratic accountability.

Nat O'Connor's latest analysis of the tax debate is here:

A copy of TASC's analysis of taxation, along with six Policy Briefs, can be found here: 

Website at

For more information, or to arrange interviews or briefings please contact Nat O'Connor, Research Director on 01-6169050, 085-8269093 or



Media enquiries should be directed to:

Shana Cohen
Tel: +353 1 6169050

From Analysis
to Action

There are many ways to support our work.

Find out more

View our Publications

View full listings of all our recent publications.

Find out more