Maternity and health tax shows why budgeting equality is needed: Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson has said the government’s tax on Maternity and Health and Safety Benefit (for breast feeding mothers who cannot be accommodated at work) shows why the government must introduce Equality Budgeting Impact Assessments into the budgetary process.
He was speaking as the Finance Committee discussed the Finance Bill 2013 which implements Budget 2013.
Deputy Doherty said;
“Minister Noonan said today these cuts together would save €40 million a year if implemented. Mothers in full-time employment whose employers are paid a portion of their maternity leave by their employers will now have to pay over €2,700 extra to revenue.
“This taxing of Maternity and Health and Safety Benefit coupled with the cut in Child Benefit give a clear example of why we need to move towards implementing Equality Budgeting Impact Assessments.
“Other countries operate Equality Budgeting and I am glad that Minister Noonan committed today to look at the Scottish model.
“This year’s budget is extremely regressive and fails the equality test. The government has the opportunity this week through the Finance Bill to relieve the worst effects on those on lower and middle incomes.
“Sinn Féin will push them to do so and to further commit to using Equality Budgeting Impact Assessments so that such regressive taxes will not be so easily levied in future.”