Tuesday, 13 December 2005
Brian Cowen (Minister, Department of Finance; Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
The other point I would make to the Deputy is that the historical problem with paying income tax was how quickly one paid at the top rate. Before we came into office, a person paid 48% tax after the first €19,400 in earnings. That person now has to earn €32,000 before he or she starts paying the top rate, which is reduced by six points to 42%. If the Deputy can find any government in Europe or any predecessor government in this State that was able to do that much that quickly, I will consider his membership of my party.