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Tax Evasion & Loopholes

6.20.2005

In the mood for a bit of a rant at government policy this morning so I alight on a story from the tail of last week regarding the artist exemption from tax on income. Many leaked stories are flagging this as a new government initiative in the coming few months. This is a sad state of affairs for anyone who believes in the value of a thriving writing scene. Of course the usual names were trotted out as spongers coming to our shore to steal our wealth, DBC Pierre, John Simpson and even mistakenly Freddy Forsyth.
However Labour always quick to pounce on philistines accused the government of trying to cover the fact that far more serious loopholes exist in the Irish tax system whereby the richest in the country pay the least in percentage terms in tax. I agree it’s not fair, as the title of the site suggests, I support a fully progressive taxation system.
If government is insistent on removing the artist exemption or placing a cap on tax free income, it can only come and we should only accept it as part of a broader review of tax policy and loop holes. One recalls a recent budget by Biffo where he committed to review tax break loopholes. Tax avoidance costs us all. The merit and national value of a reputable Arts scene is a price worth paying for artist exemptions within reason. The same argument tends not to apply to other more shady breaks and loopholes.
while on this topic I came across news in the IT of one of these social attitudes survey regarding behaviour toward the law. By the looks of these results we should be more focussed on those more likely to rip off the state and us as taxpayers. not artists who are by and larger relatively poor and not on a fixed income.
RR

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