1 in 2 Irish People Willing to Pay Higher Taxes - New Poll Shows
15th December 2014
Over 80% want Ireland to be more equal through boosting minimum wage, capping high pay, raising taxes and providing more quality public services
A poll carried out for the progressive think-tank TASC, shows that 50% of the Irish people – up from 35% in 2010 – say that they are willing to pay higher taxes themselves if high quality public services are guaranteed.
The poll also shows that over eight in every 10 people believes that income in Ireland is unfairly distributed. More than 90% are in favour of either increasing the minimum wage or establishing a maximum wage, or both, to reduce the gap between high and low earners.
TASC Research Director, Nat O’Connor, said that the poll provides a valuable counterpoint to the current focus on reducing taxes in current public discourse.
The poll was carried out for TASC by research company, Behaviour & Attitudes, in late October this year amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 16 years and over.
“What sets this poll apart is that it asks people directly if they, themselves, are willing to pay more taxes, as opposed to being willing for someone else to pay,” said Nat O’Connor. “It tells us that one in every two adults is willing to pay more taxes. This is a growing constituency – up from 35% in 2010 – and shows a realisation of the value of public services. In particular, people see this value when services are cut back or abolished, as we have seen over the past six year.”
Nat O’Connor also pointed out that support for increasing the minimum wage has jumped since 2010, up from 65% to 84%. At the other end of the scale, 63% of people said that they are in favour of a new 60% top rate of tax (combining income tax, USC and social insurance) on that part of annual incomes over €100,000.
“This overwhelming support for an increased minimum wage reflects the fact that the statutory minimum wage is grossly out of touch with the cost of living, and has remained static while costs increase,” Nat O’Connor said. “It would seem that people strongly recognise the unfairness of this.”
The €8.65 statutory minimum wage is nearly €3 an hour short of what would be a living wage in Ireland which has been calculated at €11.45 an hour. This is the minimum wage a single person needs to live a minimum but decent standard of living based on full-time work.