A range of tax measures due to be formalised in legislation will reduce the cost of living by putting €415 on average back into the pockets of workers, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Finance Senator Maria Byrne said the Finance Bill 2021 will help an estimated 135,000 workers by increasing the minimum wage and provide up to €30,000 to prospective homeowners by extending the enhanced Help to Buy Scheme.
Senator Byrne said, “This week we see legislation coming before the Oireachtas directly targeted at tackling the cost of living; people’s tax burdens will be reduced, income tax cut-off points will be raised, and personal tax credits will be increased.
“Fine Gael recognises the financial burden of rising costs on ordinary workers and families and is committed to increasing the amount of money people are bringing home at the end of the month.
“Fine Gael policy is focused on raising income tax cut-off rates to tackle the cost of inflation. Section 6 of the Finance Bill 2021 contains a range of tax band and credit measures, including a €1,500 increase in the standard rate tax band cut-off point. Fine Gael previously introduced the Earned Income Tax Credit, and along with the Personal Tax Credit and the PAYE Tax Credit, it is set to increase by €50.
“Combined, these measures will be worth over €800 to a couple on an average wage. This is real money that people will feel back in their pockets.
“Those who are continuing to work from home will also benefit from the Bill. Section 3 creates a new section in the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 to provide tax relief for remote workers.
“It will enable workers to claim 30% of the cost of their electricity, heating and broadband, on the basis of the number of days worked from home. This is the first time such a measure will be formalised in legislation, and ultimately it will reduce the overall energy costs faced by those remaining at home.
“This Bill also paves the way for householders to monetise the generation of renewable energy. Households who have energy generators such as wind turbines and solar panels will be incentivised to feed excess energy back into the grid. Section 20 introduces – for the first time – an exemption from tax for the first €200 of electricity a householder generates through renewable means that goes back into the grid.
“Due to Fine Gael policy, Finance Bill 2021 gives workers a real break by reducing the amount they pay in tax. The cost of living is rising, and in order to maintain our standard of living, workers and families need to see more money in their pockets at the end of the month,” concluded Senator Byrne.