The Church and Society Commission of the Church of Ireland has issued the following statement ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s Budget on Tuesday, 11th October:
The Preamble to the Constitution of Ireland acknowledges our accountability to God and indicates a commitment to implementing Christian teaching and values in social and economic policy, including standing up for the poorest in society.
At a time of crisis in homelessness and health care, there is a need to ensure that the level of taxation reflects fairly the level of income and that tax policy contributes to improved public services and a reduction in inequality. We would have concerns about any plans to move towards the abolition of the universal social charge, which has been recognised as a fair and progressive form of taxation.
The Archbishop of Armagh, The Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, has recently called on political and other leaders to consider how to seriously address social inequalities and improvements to public services, including the challenges of reducing poverty and increasing public finances. Archbishop Clarke proposed that it is time for ‘serious, reasoned and reasonable discussions’ on taxation. The Budget for 2017 provides an opportunity to make a start on that debate.
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