A Household net wealth tax for the Republic of Ireland.

Scrooge McDuck

Is a wealth tax on net households assets worth over €1 million feasible? Is it desirable? I discuss these issues in the latest NERI inBrief which can be found here. Many of the core principles for net wealth tax design are outlined in an earlier NERI/TASC Working Paper which can be found here.

The main 'takeaway' is that introducing such a tax in the Republic of Ireland is more than feasible and a wealth tax with a household threshold of €1 million would yield at least €250 million for the exchequer annually and probably significantly more. A well-designed wealth tax would affect just 1% to 2% of households.

The distribution of wealth is much more concentrated than that of income and wealth inequality grows in the absence of progressive capital taxation and the taxation of acquired and often unearned wealth. Taxing wealth is therefore an important tool in ameliorating economic inequality.

We have successfully introduced property taxes, carbon taxes and sugar taxes in recent years. There is no reason we could not introduce a tax on net household wealth. 

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Dr Tom McDonnell


Tom McDonnell is co-director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute and is based in the Dublin office. In addition to managing staff in the Dublin office he has co-responsibility for the NERI's research programme and for its strategic direction.  

He is also responsible for, among other things, the NERI's analysis of the Republic of Ireland economy including risks, trends and forecasts. He specialises in economic growth, economics of innovation, Irish and European economies, and fiscal policy. 

He previously worked as an economist at TASC and before that was a lecturer in economics at NUI Galway and at DCU. He has also taught at Maynooth University (MU) and is currently an occasional staff member at MU. 

Tom obtained his PhD in economics from NUI Galway. He is a native of Limerick city and lives in Maynooth.

Contact: [email protected] or 00353 1 889 77 42.