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Finance Bill will only make matters worse – Morgan

9 December, 2008

Speaking at a meeting of the Oireachtas Finance and Public Services Committee today Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD described the Finance Bill as short sighted and said it will do nothing to address our catastrophic public finances.

Deputy Morgan said, "This Finance Bill should be opposed as it seeks to punish the most vulnerable sections of society for the economic incompetence of the Government. It is a short sighted Bill that will do nothing to address our catastrophic public finances.

"Instead of going after wealthy investors - the Government is simply targeting families on small or medium incomes through the 1% levy and the increase in VAT.

"At a time when economic activity is plummeting and we have an economy based on consumption and spending, the Minister is stymieing the spending power of the very households who can ease the recession.

"The Government risks sending us on a downward spiral where levies and charges decreases consumer spending particularly amongst low and middle income families, leading to falling PAYE and VAT receipts and will only dissipate our public finances even further.

"The Bill also included palliative care tax exemptions which, along with the pre-existing tax exemptions for developers of private hospitals, will result in the State foregoing hundreds of millions in tax revenue while we continue to see highly generous provisions for investors in property tax breaks.

"This is all happening at a time when there is a massive shortfall of close to €7.5 billion in tax revenue. The Government must re-engage to ensure that the crisis in public finances is addressed before our revenue completely collapses." ENDS

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