The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the publication of “Foundations for the Future”, the Report of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare.
The Commission, chaired by Professor Niamh Moloney, was established in April 2021 on foot of a commitment in the Programme for Government.
The Commission was asked to “review how best the taxation and welfare system can support economic activity and income redistribution, whilst promoting increased employment and prosperity in a resilient, inclusive and sustainable way and ensuring that there are sufficient resources available to meet the costs of public services and supports in the medium and longer term.”
In addressing its broad Terms of Reference, the Commission adopted a long-term and strategic approach to its work and has produced a comprehensive and detailed report setting out a range of recommendations. The report outlines the Commission’s views on how best the taxation and welfare systems may be refined over time to ensure their sustainability over the long-term and to support the State in meeting the needs of citizens into the future. As part of its work the Commission consulted widely and has taken into consideration a diverse range of submissions made to it as part of its consultation process. This involved an inclusive public engagement and stakeholder consultation exercise, which garnered 229 submissions and which 445 people attended.
The independent Commission was comprised of 13 members with a broad range of experience and expertise both nationally and internationally.
Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said:
“Firstly, I would like to thank the Chair of the Commission, Professor Niamh Moloney, and all the members of the Commission for their dedication and hard work since the Commission began its work in June 2021.
The report is a significant body of work running to more than 500 pages and containing 116 recommendations. This report poses serious questions that we as a society must carefully consider and the recommendations will foster real debate around how we reform our taxation and welfare systems over the longer term in order to safeguard their sustainability and adapt to a rapidly changing environment.”
The Minister concluded by saying “Given the significant and wide-ranging recommendations contained in the Report, it is important to allow for detailed consideration of the recommendations. It is my intention to discuss the Report with my Government colleagues over the coming weeks and outline an initial response as part of my Budget day statement.”
Professor Moloney said “The Terms of Reference for the Commission explicitly charged us to take a medium to long-term view, and we have sought to assess the long-term needs of the country and the economy. Given the pace at which the age-profile of our population is changing, and the other fiscal risks that Ireland faces, the Commission considers that it would be a strategic risk not to plan and provide for these known issues. The Commission believe that it will be necessary to increase the contribution of taxation as a share of national income in the future, and accordingly we have adopted a net revenue-raising approach in framing our recommendations. In the area of taxation we have made proposals to broaden the base across most tax heads and to increase the yield from the least distortionary taxes, so that revenues can be increased at the least possible cost to society. In the area of welfare policy, we make a number of proposals aimed at supporting people in work, and addressing child poverty.
The Commission is conscious of present economic challenges facing households and many of our recommendations may, in the short-term, be challenging. Our Terms of Reference, however, charged us to assess the longer-term needs of the State and the economy and to place the taxation and welfare systems on a sustainable basis to meet future needs.
I would like to express my gratitude to all those individuals and groups who took the time to respond to the public consultation process. I would also like to thank all of my colleagues on the Commission for their commitment and dedication to producing this report and the Secretariat who served us so well during our tenure.”
Minister Donohoe submitted the Report to Cabinet today asking Government to note the contents and recommendations contained in the report and seeking approval to publish. The Minister will now consider the contents of the Report along with Government colleagues and will provide an initial response to the recommendations as part of his Budget Statement on 27th September next.
Notes for Editors:
- The establishment of a Commission on Taxation and Welfare was an important commitment made in the Programme for Government.
- Membership of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare consisted of
- Chair of the Commission, Professor Niamh Moloney, Law School, London School of Economics and Political Science
- Marie Bradley, Managing Director, Bradley Tax Consulting
- Philip Brennan, former Assistant Secretary, Revenue Commissioners
- Sandra Clarke, President of the Irish Tax Institute, Partner in BCC Accountants
- Rowena Dwyer, Manager of Policy, Planning and Government Relations with Enterprise Ireland
- Philip Kermode, former Director, European Commission
- Dr. Aoife Ní Lochlainn, Policy Officer, Irish Environmental Network
- Rena Maycock, CEO and Founder of Cilter Technologies
- John-Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive Officer, Threshold
- Dr. Tom McDonnell, Co-director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute and ICTU Nominee
- Fergal O’Brien, Director, IBEC
- Dr. Barra Roantree, Economist, Economic and Social Research Institute
- Anne Vaughan, former Deputy Secretary, Department of Social Protection
- The Commission was independent of the Department of Finance and was supported in their work by a Secretariat, which included seconded Departmental personnel and other staff who reported directly to the Chair for the duration of the Commission’s work.
- The terms of reference and membership of the Commission are available on their website https://www.gov.ie/cotw/ along with minutes of their meetings, briefing papers and stakeholder submissions to the Commission.
- The final report of the Commission, “Foundations for the Future”, has now been published on the Commission websitehttps://www.gov.ie/en/publication/7fbeb-report-of-the-commission/ and contains their strategic views and 116 recommendations to ensure the resilience and effectiveness of our taxation and welfare systems into the medium to long-term future.