The Workers’ Party have demanded demanded that the government restore tax relief on Trade Union subscriptions for workers, saying that the present situation whereby Trade Union members are the only people paying subscriptions to  representative or professional bodies who are not allowed tax, PRSI and USC relief on their subscriptions is discriminatory.

Cllr. Ted Tynan, Workers’ Party Cork City Councillor, said: “This represents serious discrimination against Trade Union members and I believe it is a deliberate effort by successive right wing governments to discourage workers from joining Trade Unions.”

“From 2001 to 2011 workers were allowed €100.00 flat rate tax relief on their Trade Unions subs but this was abolished by the Fine Gael/Labour government in the 2011 budget. This is despite the fact that the Labour party receives significant funding from the Trade Union movement.”

“Tax relief on subscriptions to such organisations as IBEC, ISME IFA by their members has continued to date and professionals are allowed tax relief at the marginal rate on their subs to their professional bodies.”, said Cllr. Tynan

“As well as that these organisations and individuals are exempted from PRSI and USC on their subscriptions. Most European countries allow workers tax relief on their union subscriptions so the fiercely pro European Fine Gael has no excuse not to do so here.”

Cllr. Tynan said that it was long overdue that this discrimination against workers was ended and called on the Minister for Finance Pascal Donoghue to end it in the next budget by bringing workers tax relief on Trade Union subs into line with members of professional bodies, and their European  Trade Union colleagues.