Submission to the Irish Commission on Taxation and Welfare

This is a pdf version of our responses to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare’s Consultation Call, which took the form of an online survey. It was submitted on January 17 2022.

Download the submission in pdf format

Summary of our recommendations:

• Taxation should encourage activities that add value to the economy, such as employment and property improvement, it should support the circular economy, and it should penalise rent-seeking activities that make use of common pool resources (the latter form of taxation is referred to in our submission as ‘commons-based taxation’, and would include a Site Value Tax)

• EU funding should be availed of to the greatest extent possible to support the greening of infrastructure and housing in Ireland

• To help address the serious problems in the Irish housing sector – which are currently a significant drain on the welfare system and, therefore, on the ability for Ireland to achieve the green transition – significant investment is needed in building social housing, which should form 20% of the housing stock

• A Universal Basic Income and a strengthened social wage (Universal Basic Services, which should include healthcare, education, childcare, adult care, legal services and public transport) are both vital to encouraging beneficial economic activity while ensuring that the vulnerable are protected

• A hard and reducing cap on the fossil fuel supply should be implemented, either at Irish or at EU level, in order to ensure sustained and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with a fee-and-permit system for fossil fuel producers or suppliers

• To support climate justice and help to ensure that adequate levels of climate finance are being provided, a partnership should be formed, either by Ireland or by the EU as a whole, with a Global South country (or group of countries) and revenue from the carbon tax should be allocated on a per-capita basis between all residents of the partnership countries

• Corporate taxation should be based on long-term goals and a conscious (and articulated) vision of the future global economy, and – for both ethical and practical reasons – should take the perspective and needs of the Global South into account

• Taxation should encourage practises that promote Community Wealth Building

• We recommend that the Commission investigate Participatory Budgeting as a well-established method for making decisions about funding allocations on a local, city and county level

• It should be borne in mind by the Commission that the ‘green transition’ will not only need to include decarbonisation but also extensive biodiversity restoration, and it must prevent the breaching of the other planetary boundaries

• We recommend that the Commission keep abreast of the extensive research that is being carried out internationally at present into how economies can become ‘growth-independent’, i.e. capable of functioning well regardless of whether or not aggregate GDP growth is taking place

Download the submission in pdf format

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