Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD, responding to the report from the Fiscal Advisory Council, which advised the Government to stick to its €2 billion budget adjustment target this year, said today that the Government must take less in October’s budget.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The Fiscal Advisory Council has done what it was asked to do, and that is to look purely at figures, not impacts. So there is nothing new in them calling for the Government to make a higher than necessary adjustment. However, the Government needs to look at the impact of austerity on ordinary people and €2 billion in taxes and cuts are not needed to meet the target this year, so they should not be imposed.
“The Council is right to point out that the Government’s plans for future budgets exceed the requirements of even the austerity treaty, and that the Government shouldn’t follow that course. The Government must also explain how it plans to further reduce expenditure by a further 8% over the next number of years, bringing it to an historical low. If the Government proceeds with that policy, it will make the austerity people have seen to date, with the cuts in health, education and other areas, pale in significance.
“I do believe tax cuts should be made in this budget, but not where the Government suggests, which would not benefit nearly 1 million taxpayers. Tax cuts should be given in the form of the abolition of the property tax, and no water charges should be introduced. These two measures will benefit a much wider tax group.
“Sinn Féin will set out its budget proposals later in the year and we will be focusing on this budget alleviating the stress that has been placed on ordinary families over the last number of years.”