Dáil Éireann - Volume 327 - 24 February, 1981

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - PAYE Returns.

14. Dr. Browne asked the Minister for Finance the estimated increase in PAYE returns for the last 12 months.

Mr. Calleary: The estimated Exchequer receipt of income tax collected through the PAYE mechanism in 1980 was £875 million. This figure covers more than income tax on ordinary wages and salaries. It includes tax paid by directors of close companies and also tax on “other income” of employees such as rent and other investment income. It represents an increase of £228.5 million over the amount collected in 1979. For purposes of comparison with 1979, it should be noted that the Post Office dispute delayed the collection of an estimated £10 million in 1979 which should have been collected through the PAYE mechanism but was not collected until 1980.

Dr. Browne: Arising out of that dramatic difference between the other two, would the Minister not agree that the PAYE group have a very serious grievance in so far as they appear to be paying for all the other groups in the country? Is it the accepted policy of the Government that they should be exploited in this way because they pay their dues and other are not willing to do so?

Mr. Calleary: As the Deputy knows, all of us in the House come under the PAYE system. I do not accept that there is exploitation as the Deputy has suggested. The Commission on Taxation are looking into quite a number of matters. The very big increase, which was approximately 35 per cent, was due to a substantial increase in wages and salaries in 1980. The yield would have been £120 million higher in the absence of the major income tax concessions in the 1980 budget. It is estimated that these concessions [22] will cost a further £90 million in 1981 on the basis of a full year.

Mr. Bruton: Could the Minister give the figure for income other than income from wages and salaries such as from close companies, rents, investments, and so on?

Mr. Calleary: I have not got that information with me. The information I have concerns receipts from PAYE earners, including directors of close companies. I will get the information for the Deputy.

Mr. Cluskey: The Minister has given a figure for PAYE workers showing an increase of approximately 30 per cent from 1979 to 1980. Could he indicate what the percentage increase was, if any, in the other revenue collected from farmers, capital gains and corporation tax?

Mr. Calleary: I am sorry, Deputy. I have not got that information. I will get it for the Deputy.

Mr. Cluskey: Would the Minister not agree that a 30 per cent increase in PAYE is an extraordinary percentage increase?

Mr. Calleary: It is a significant increase, but the Deputy should take it in the context of the tremendous concessions in the budget. The increase would be considerably higher were it not for those concessions. He should also take into account the salary increases given during 1980.

An Ceann Comhairle: Ceist 15.

Mr. Cluskey: Will the Minister furnish me with that information?

Mr. Calleary: I will talk to the Deputy afterwards and get the information for him.

Mr. Kelly: Is it usual for the Government front bench to be completely deserted? Perhaps they do not want to be associated with the replies given by the Minister of State.

[23] Mr. C. Murphy: That is nonsense.

Mr. Kelly: Has the Deputy ever seen it before? Has he ever seen the Government front bench deserted before? He has never seen it before.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: No interruptions, please. Ceist 15.