Monday, November 29, 2010

Penalisation of stay-at-home mums "unacceptable": Iona

The four-year plan announced yesterday will penalise one-income married couples compared with single people in a manner that is “completely unacceptable and indefensible,” The Iona Institute has said.

According to the Government's National Recovery Plan, by 2014 the net pay for a married one-income family on €55,000, “will be reduced by €2,310 per annum (€44 per week) or 5.4 per cent, compared with €1,860 for a single person on €55,000.  

This is a difference of €450 per annum.

In a statement, Iona Institute director, David Quinn, asked how such a move could be justified.

He said, “A one-income married couple will have one dependent spouse and almost certainly dependent children as well.  So why is the government imposing a bigger tax burden on them compared with single people who are likely to have no dependents?”

He continued, “Is the Government caving into pressure from the IMF, the OECD and the EU?  All of these organisations want as many women as possible to be in the workplace regardless of their actual wishes.  Essentially, they believe a woman’s place is in work and a child’s place is in day-care, and it looks like the Government agrees.”

The document also says that for those making tax relieved pension contributions, net income would fall a further 2.5 per cent at this income level in the private sector.

The Government's plan is in addition to its tax individualisation policy, which already pushes women back into the workplace after having children.

The announcement comes after it emerged that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants the Government to give women with small children a five per cent tax credit to encourage them back into the workforce.