Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Tax Code

8:10 pm

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I should remind the Deputy of the many different ways in which wealth is currently taxed, for example through capital gains tax, deposit interest retention tax, or DIRT, and the local property tax. Any revenue raised from a wealth tax may not therefore be additional to the existing forms of wealth taxation, as revenues from those taxes could be affected by the introduction of a wealth tax.

On the issue of household wealth, late last year the Central Bank published a report, Household Wealth: What is it, who has it, and why it matters. It presents the results from the household finance and consumption survey, which collects data on households’ financial positions. That survey was undertaken before the pandemic, but it provides a starting point against which to benchmark its impact on household finance positions and consumption patterns. I am informed that the report indicates household net wealth grew by more than €76,000 for the median household, or by 74%, to €179,200 from 2013 to 2018, driven primarily by house price growth and declining mortgage debt. The report also highlights a significant portion of wealth for most households is tied up in the family home.

While the net wealth of the top 20% of households increased by approximately 52% from €560,000 to €853,000, the relative share of net wealth held by the top 10% of households decreased by 2.6% from 2013, and is 1.3% below the equivalent figure for the eurozone as a whole.

As was confirmed in the recent budget 2022 policy changes, a range of metrics demonstrate that compared to other countries the Irish tax and welfare systems contribute substantially to the redistribution of income and a reduction in income inequality.


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