Anti-Austerity Alliance candidates for Galway City, Sean Byrne, Conor Burke and Tommy Holohan have slammed plans to increase the Universal Social Charge for 360,000 pensioners and medical card holders from next January.
“Implemented by the Fianna Fail government and unchanged through successive budgets of the current Government, those who pay USC at the four per cent rate will be taxed at a seven per cent rate from 1 January 2015,” according to AAA Galway.
“The measure will affect medical card holders with an income of more than €16,000 and less than €60,000 per annum. It is expected that a household with an income of €40,000 a year will lose out to the tune of €700 as a result of the measure.”
The group said it has also been revealed that those who pay USC at the ten per cent rate will be reduced to a seven per cent rate meaning that those who earn more than €100,000 a year – including barristers, solicitors, business people and consultants – will enjoy a “significant tax cut”.
“A widowed pensioner with an income of €25,000 a year will be stung for €270 a year while barristers, solicitors, businessmen and consultants enjoy a hefty tax cut,” said Sean Byrne. “This goes against any notion of fairness and social justice. I think that the Universal Social Charge should be abolished but at the very least these socially unjust changes should not be allowed to go ahead.”