Sinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, has called on the government to make a clear and immediate commitment that people on medical cards and those over 70 will not be hit with a 3% increase in the USC rate in January 2015.
He said that it is a reminder of Fianna Fáil’s ugly legacy of economic mishandling and, if it goes ahead, is further proof of Fine Gael and Labour’s commitment to the previous government’s policies.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The Universal Social Charge is an unjust and unfair cost to the Irish people who have borne the brunt of banking debt through tax increases, the household charge, a rise in education costs and astronomical levels of job losses.
“Fianna Fáil introduced the USC to cover its losses when it bailed out the banking system. Upon its introduction, there was a clause that meant people on an income of below €60,000 with either medical cards or who are over 70 paid a rate of 4% as opposed to 7%. This clause ends in January 2015.
“It is time for the Fine Gael and Labour government to stop implementing Fianna Fáil’s policies and to ensure that this does not happen. It is not good enough for Minister Noonan to wait until budget time for this matter to be cleared up.
“We were promised a new politics, but this is further proof that this current government is making no effort to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.”