Minister for Finance outlines ideas to curb public expenditure by replacing some social welfare payments with taxation concessions.

Minister for Finance Richie Ryan points out that the only source of income for the state is the tax payer and he has made a number of suggestions for how to better redistribute this income.

In his view, money paid out in certain social welfare benefits would be better spent in the form of tax concessions which he believes would save on administration costs. He stressed that his announcements were not proposals but rather that he wanted to stimulate a debate around public expenditure.

Does it make sense for the State to take money from people and then refund it to them?

The minister defends his suggestion that areas such as children's allowance and free school transport need to be examined. He argues that many families pay income tax which is collected by the exchequer and then redistributed in the form of children's allowance and other benefits. In the case of free school transport, he argues that many families who receive free school transport have their own cars. Richie Ryan says that if many of these families instead received a grant towards the cost then transporting children to school could be achieved at a much lower cost.

The minister says he outlines his ideas so that people might consider the options in order to achieve a better distribution of money within the state. He says that many believe that,

The State should take less and leave people with more.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 November 1976. The reporter is Ronnie Turner.