Support sought for those working from home

Local TD Denis Naughten has said “Remote workers will receive as little as 7 cent a day in a tax refund for remote working in 2020, despite forking out at least €210 in extra heating and lighting as a result of having to work from home”

Addressing the Dail, Deputy Naughten said: “To date approximately 44,000 workers have submitted a tax reclaim for working from home in 2020 with an average refund from the Revenue Commissioners of just €26.19 after they go through a cumbersome reclaim process involving the submission of 12 months’ worth of invoices for broadband, heating and electricity.”

“Frustratingly, the AA estimates that working from home cost families an extra €210.47 on gas heating and electricity alone in 2020. That does not consider those who rely on oil fired central heating, which has seen an increase in demand by 18% in 2020 or those who are reliant on solid fuel heating”.

“Many more families have seen their broadband costs increase with additional charges for going over their data limits.”

Denis Naughten also pointed out: “Last month the Government promised to review the current tax arrangements for remote workers in its remote working strategy, yet just 44 days earlier the Minister for Finance rejected such a review that I tabled to the Finance Bill.

“While there is no doubt some businesses are reducing their operating costs by having staff working remotely, surprisingly when I pointed out to the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week that Government also benefited through reduced congestion and emissions, he rejected such an assertion.

“Based on the Government’s own spending code, every worker who works at home in 2021 provides the Government with a saving of over 11 cent a day in carbon emissions alone. So clearly businesses and Government are benefiting from people working from home, but it will be at least 2022 before any proper acknowledgement is provided to such workers.

“It is hard to see how we can have the transformational change in how we work, as outlined in the Government’s remote working strategy with a potential reduction of 17% in our transport emissions, when we have such a view being held by our Taoiseach,” concluded Denis Naughten

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