Finance Bill underpins government austerity approach: Pearse Doherty
Speaking during the Dáil debate on Finance Bill 2013 tonight, Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, said the bill underpins the government's austerity approach, a policy which is having devastating consequences for families throughout the state. He added that the bill provided tax breaks for those least in need of them while the government continued to hammer families and vulnerable groups.
Deputy Doherty said:
"This bill will mean little to the majority of people other than being another hammer to drive over Budget 2013, the second austerity budget from Fine Gael and Labour. It is a bill which once more asks middle and low income families to bear the brunt of recovery.
"At a time when the government tells us it cannot find money to reverse cuts such as the respite care grant cut, and when it plans to introduce a property tax on already struggling households, the government has produced a Bill which extends tax breaks to those least in need of them.
"The Living City initiative in this bill provides a generous tax break for owners of Georgian Houses in the Minister's own constituency - who can now renovate their houses with limitless amounts, and get up to 100% tax back over the next ten years.
"Yet, the deprived housing estates in Limerick which have been the subject of countless regeneration delays, will be expected to pay the property tax when it is either levied on their houses directly or through their social housing rents.
"The bill also allows wealthy people with large pensions (AVCs) over and above their normal pensions to draw down money exempt from PRSI or USC. This bill is peppered with tax breaks with no idea the cost or effectiveness of them to the state.