In response to criticism that the Spanish austerity measures are primarily targeted at working and middle-income families, the socialist government have stated they intend on introducing a new 43 percent tax rate for higher earners. This is intended to balance the effect of a proposed cut of 7.7% of total spending in its next austerity budget.
Publicly declaring that those who earn more should pay more tax. It seems like quite a reasonable policy to pursue. But, could we imagine an Irish government opting for such a strategy? Maybe, if, as recent research by TASC has indicated: 85 percent of people are in favour of a greater re-distribution of wealth and 91 percent feel that the government should take active measures to reduce the gap between high and low earners. Perhaps not though if only 35 percent are willing to pay higher taxes to fund higher quality public services?