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Finance Minister gets tax take projections wrong, again!

2 December, 2008

Responding to Exchequer figures released this afternoon which show a further decline in tax take showing an €7.5 billion deficit and a €1 billion shortfall to date in the government's projected figures for 2008 Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has described the governments management of the economy as 'clueless'.

Deputy Morgan said:

"The public finances are in free fall and the government is getting it wrong at every turn. If Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is incapable of correctly projecting income and expenditure how can the Irish people have any confidence that the government can deliver a roadmap for economic recovery? November is an important month for tax revenue as the coffers benefit from self assessment tax as well as the bulk of the year's capital gains and corporation tax takes.

"It is nearly two months since Budget 2009 was announced and we still have no idea how the government intends pulling the economy out of recession. They have not delivered a plan for job creation. They have yet to tell us how they intend to stimulate the economy. Instead they have implemented short term cuts that will have long term devastating effects on education and health.

"They have penalised low to middle working families with increased public services charges and the 1% income levy. They are strangling the retail industry particularly small border county businesses by increasing VAT to 21.5% at the same time as the British Chancellor has reduced the VAT rate in the north to 15%. Sinn Féin was the only political party to advocate a 2% reduction in VAT in advance of the Budget 2009 announcement by government in October. This was just one of my party's proposals that we believe government needs to look if it serious about stimulating the economy.

"Fianna Fáil had no idea how to efficiently and effectively manage the economy in the good times with it's policy of over reliance on consumption and construction and it clearly has no idea how to get us out of the bad times. It is time for the government to step away from it's slash and burn approach to the states budget, revisit its decision to make Brian Lenihan Minister for Finance and to once and for all outline its roadmap for getting the country out of recession whilst ensuring public services are protected." ENDS

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