One law for the rich and one law for the poor as over 350,000 people to be caught in USC Hike


Brid Smith, the People Before Profit candidate for the Dublin MEP seat, has condemned a new hike in the Universal Social Charge that will see hundred of thousands of pensioners and families with medical cards levied at the 7 percent rate rather than at the 4 percent rate. 

Commenting today Brid Smith said: “This change will cost people who are on medical cards as they could only benefit from the lower rate until January 2015. For example an old age pensioner with an income of €25,000 will end up paying an extra €270 a year.

“This latest stealth tax arises from the fact that when Fianna Fail were in government they initially agreed that people on a medical card with an income of less than €60,000 would pay the lower rate of USC.  But they included a ‘sunset clause’ so that this minor concession would lapse after January 2015. The new stealth tax shows how all the establishment parties – FF, FG, Labour and the Greens are united on making the mass of the people pay for the economic crimes of the bankers.

“Pensioners, in particular, are in an extremely distressed state about all these taxes and cannot take any more. If €85 million was not wasted on consultants at Irish Water and if the government decided to stop paying huge fees to fat cat accountancy firms for biased advice, there would be no need for this charge.

“However, in a clear demonstration of this government’s priority high-earning self-employed people such as barristers, consultants, solicitors and business owners who earn more than €100,000 will see their USC cut from 10pc to 7pc. Once again Labour and Fine Gael prove there is one law for the rich and one for the poor.”