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Fine Gael and Labour had choices - Sinn Féin provided detailed, costed alternative budget: Pearse Doherty

7 December, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson and TD, Pearse Doherty has slammed Fine Gael and Labour’s claims that it had no alternative to the “appalling” budget introduced on Wednesday. Deputy Doherty said Sinn Féin provided the government with a detailed alternative, the costings of which were provided by government departments themselves.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Fine Gael and Labour, backed into a corner, are doing their best to spin a line that they had no choices on Wednesday, that no one had provided them with an alternative and that the Sinn Féin alternative was not costed.
“People can see through this utterly desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the appalling budget these two parties introduced on Wednesday, but to prove that they did have choices, I am publishing a list of the parliamentary questions (PQs) that costed the tax measures in our alternative budget and were provided to us from the government’s own Department of Finance.
“In our budget, we outlined 12 new tax measures to raise over €2.7 billion in additional taxation, one carry-over measure and three figures that had a net tax deduction effect. One of the net tax figures is a simple arithmetic exercise based on government and ESRI assumptions, to allow for the tax that would be lost by capping public sector salaries at €100,000 and consultant salaries at €150,000 per annum.
“Our wealth tax figure, as we have explained, they refused to cost and we set out in our Budget document how we costed that using other sources. That leaves 14 measures and I am publishing with this statement the 17 PQ references (3 PQs relate to the one betting tax proposal) including the PQ which refuses to cost the wealth tax, provided to us from the Department of Finance, which contain the figures used.
“Other measures in our document relating to health, public expenditure, TDs salaries and such also come from their relevant departments, for example, the measure to reduce A&E charges is PQ reference 991, from the 6 November, the Department of Health.
“All of these PQs are published on the Oireachtas website and are publicly available and I call on Fine Gael and Labour to now admit that they are not telling the truth when they say our budget document is not costed and accept that they were given an alternative that they chose not to take.” ENDS

The following are the parliamentary questions, by number, date and subject matter:
264 18 September Betting shop tax
263 18 September Online betting tax
255 18 September 48% third tax rate
256 18 September CGT increase
257 18 September CAT increase and lower thresholds
261 18 September Standardising tax reliefs
265 18 September Refusal to cost wealth tax
47 3 October On-course betting tax
60 3 October Reduced mortgage interest for landlords
108 3 October PRSI applied to rental income
125 3 October Social Protection response PRSI increase for employers
50 4 October Tax evasion, increased auditing
89 17 October Excise duty reduction
203 6 November ARFs & PRSAs imputed distribution percentage
248 6 November €220 million carry-over
214 6 November Pensions related earnings cap deduction
251 6 November USC, removing minimum wage earners

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