Tory led government still wedded to failed austerity policy – McKay
Sinn Féin MLA and finance spokesperson Daithí McKay has called for the transfer of Fiscal powers to the Assembly following the British Chancellors Autumn Budget announcements which do little to address the economic needs of those living in the north of Ireland.
Speaking today Mr McKay said:
“This budget delivered by George Osbourne today continues to be wedded to austerity and will do little to lift the dark clouds over the economy.
“The fact that the 3p rise on fuel duty will not be coming forward will be a relief for roads users yet will not make their current position any easier.
“There is also a additional capital spend allocation of £132m which will aid in job creation however it is a short term measure. The reduction of corporation tax by just 1% does not take into account the demands of the local economy which are distinctly different from Britain.
“There is little or no relief for those who are finding it hard to make ends meet.
“While there has been a slight increase in the income tax threshold those on lower incomes will not see as much of a rise as those in the higher income brackets in real terms.
“Benefits will also be further hit. A below inflation rise for those in receipt of benefits and pensions is a cut in real terms, and changes to welfare under the Tory driven welfare reform will see a quarter of a million people in the north affected.
“One thing is clear from today's budget announcements. With the extension of Austerity measures to 2018 it is a obvious indication that this policy is not working.
“Growth for 2012 has been revised downwards, and the British government has not been able to reduce their deficits. Given this and the and the sixth austerity budget in four years from the Irish government today, the Executive must continue to pursue its aims laid out in the Programme for Government.
“The positive and creative focus on job creation and economic growth, pursuing a clear alternative with the two austerity fixated governments that we are sandwiched between has proved beneficial with what little fiscal ability the Executive possesses.
“What we need to see is the transfer of Fiscal powers to best meet the unique needs of those who elect us directly and the local workforce and economy”