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Reilly challenges Minister Noonan on USC and VAT

22 March, 2012

Sinn Fein’s Seanad finance spokesperson Kathryn Reilly today challenged Minster Noonan on the government’s 2012 Finance Bill which signs off on last year’s budget which kept the Universal Social Charge, 2% increase in VAT and increased the price of petrol.
Speaking as the Seanad discussed the Finance Bill 2012 Senator Reilly said:
“I challenged the government to move to removing everybody earning the minimum wage from having to pay the unjust Universal Social Charge as a first step to abolishing the USC. I also challenged the Minister to look again at the terrible decision to increase VAT by 2%.”
“VAT increases are regressive and will kill domestic demand. Border areas will be disproportionally hard hit. Today we learned that Ireland was once in recession. Part of that is down to the VAT hike. Border businesses and towns are already suffering disproportionately due to recession and austerity. I am disappointed that the Minister will not look again at the VAT mistake and I am especially disappointed that my fellow Senators from the government side from border counties support him.”
“I am equally disappointed with the refusal of the Minister to look again at the increases in so-called “carbon taxes” like petrol and home heating oil. Rural Ireland needs affordable petrol given the lack of public transport we have to put up with.”

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