Derry MP Eastwood meets with the Cross Border Workers Coalition over ‘double tax’ for Donegal residents

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has met with the Cross Border Workers Coalition to discuss the campaign to address the ‘double tax’ facing home-working cross-border workers in Derry.

(L-R) Aidan O’Kane, Co-Chair of the Cross Border Workers Coalition; Paul Quinn, Co-Chair of the Cross Border Workers Coalition; Colum Eastwood MP, MP for Foyle and Leader of the SDLP; Conor Dowds, Co-Chair of the Cross Border Workers Coalition
(L-R) Aidan O’Kane, Co-Chair of the Cross Border Workers Coalition; Paul Quinn, Co-Chair of the Cross Border Workers Coalition; Colum Eastwood MP, MP for Foyle and Leader of the SDLP; Conor Dowds, Co-Chair of the Cross Border Workers Coalition

Coalition co-chairs Aidan O’Kane, Conor Dowds, and Paul Quinn spoke with the Foyle MP regarding the Republic of Ireland’s tax laws which can deny remote working to thousands of cross-border workers.

The group said they were encouraged by the MP’s continued commitment to work with the Irish Government as they push for legislative change in October’s Irish Budget.

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Mr Eastwood said: “Current tax rules mean that the thousands of people who live in Donegal and work in Derry face the prospect of being double taxed by merely working from home. This simply does not work for thousands of cross-border workers and can impose a harsh penalty on those simply looking to contribute to the all-island economy.”

He added: “Remote work is here to stay, and border cities and towns across the North have it all to gain. For remote workers, the prospect of leaving places like London to live and work-from-home in Derry is an exciting one. And by addressing this issue, we can work to combat the ‘brain drain’ we have seen and bring back our highly skilled graduates.”

The temporary waiver on these laws is set to end at the start of 2022, and Mr Eastwood said the Irish Government must act now to bring in permanent solutions.

Mr O’Kane meanwhile said a long-term solution would bring “significant benefits” to the all-island economy and incentivise companies to invest locally in our border regions, bringing in more high-paying jobs and opportunities for highly skilled workers across the island.”

“We would like to thank Colum for his time engaging with us, and we look forward to further collaboration as we look to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”