SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “The current revenue approved tax relief was established in 1990 for workers in the mining industry. Over the years it has had periodical reviews and was increased to €1,312 annually for underground workers in 2009. It has been frozen at this rate since then.
“Our members have always complied with the revenue stipulation that this tax relief is expended ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ in the performance of their employment.
“Revenue in a swipe of a pen has reduced the €1,312 allowance to €120 and in the case of surface workers €655 to zero which will come into effect on the 1st January 2020. In addition, this is at a time when vouched expenses in government buildings are only being looked and represents an unfair approach to PAYE workers.
“Such a decrease would also nullify a pay increase which is due to the workers. In a time when the finances of the state are very strong with surplus budgets this should not be occurring and will be strenuously resisted by the more than 600 workers employed directly on the Tara Mines site.”
He added: “As a compromise, our members are seeking the continuation of the freeze on the allowance of €1,312 annually for underground PAYE workers and €655 for surface PAYE workers. The allowance should then be reviewed in a process involving the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
“In order to achieve this outcome, a delegation including members of SIPTU and the craft unions in Tara Mines, visited the Dáil earlier this week where they discussed the issue with TDs.”