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Launch of ‘Your Vision, Our Future’, the Public Consultation on Taxation and Welfare

Your Vision, Our Future opens today, 20 October 2021. It is the public consultation of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare (the Commission) and is seeking opinions on various elements of our taxation and welfare systems, in particular views on how public services are funded into the future.

Speaking today about Your Vision, Our Future, the Chair of the Commission Professor Niamh Moloney said, “through the establishment of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare, Government has given us the opportunity to influence our shared future and help position our tax and welfare systems to meet future challenges and to build on opportunities arising. Everyone can engage with the Your Vision, Our Future platform at cotw.citizenspace.com.”

The Commission was established earlier this year and is an independent body tasked by Government 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. The specific terms of reference for the Commission can be found at gov.ie/cotw.

Our taxation system provides the investment we make as a people for the public services we use – from our roads and bridges, to our hospitals and schools. More than simply a revenue-raising facility, our taxation system is a fundamental element of the apparatus of the State, influencing behaviour and driving economic activity.

For those of working age, our social welfare system serves to temporarily replace income lost to periods of unemployment, injury, disability, sickness or maternity. Our social welfare system has a crucial role in cushioning sudden income loss, supporting families and encouraging employment for people in all situations.

The tax and welfare systems are fundamental to implementing the social and economic aims of government. Together, the taxation and welfare systems help us create our future. Continuing to build the best versions of these systems benefits not only ourselves but also the generations yet to come. That is why the Commission’s work will consider how best to deliver well-designed, coherent and straightforward taxation and welfare systems, to ensure a fully functioning, sustainable labour market, and active inclusion and participation in society.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, Ireland still faces significant challenges including our aging population and how this will impact the cost of health and pensions into the future, meeting the increased infrastructure requirements for our growing population, the climate crisis, and adapting to the digitisation of the economy. Responding to these challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities they present will have a real impact on expenditure levels and the sustainability of Government revenue sources into the future.

The Commission is considering how best to reform our approach to taxation and welfare policy in order to address these challenges and support continued economic prosperity, greater social inclusivity and a fairer carbon neutral society and economy into the future.

Professor Moloney added, “we want to hear from as many people, groups and organisation as possible to ensure that a diverse range of experiences and perspectives inform the development of the report of the Commission, which is due in July 2022. You don’t need to be an expert on tax and/or welfare policy for your opinion to be valued. We look forward to considering a broad range of diverse views as we continue our work into next year.”

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