Brian Keegan: A solidarity tax would be a step backwards

A move to tax those who’ve done well financially during the pandemic has been mooted, but there are good reasons not to touch it

‘Solidarity taxes are not a particularly new idea. Germany introduced one some 30 years ago to help fund the costs of reunification, while a 2.1 per cent surtax was introduced in Japan to help repair the damage from the 2011 earthquake’

When the International Monetary Fund proposed earlier this month that a “recovery contribution” could be levied on businesses and individuals that had fared disproportionately well during the pandemic, an idea which might otherwise have been buried in 100 pages of dry economic commentary got its day in the sun.

Some commentators described the notion as politically progressive, if difficult to implement. Joe O‘Brien, the Green Party Minister of State, wrote to Paschal Donohoe, his colleague ...