Water charges must be scrapped as new figures show extra scope in next week’s budget - Pearse Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said the figures released by the government at midnight show that there is extra scope in next week’s budget. Deputy Doherty said the first thing on the government’s agenda should be the scrapping of water charges.
Deputy Doherty was speaking after the government released its expenditure and receipts which show that without any policy change the deficit for 2015 would come in at 2.4% leaving much more scope than a neutral budget.
“The government had previously suggested that a neutral budget was required to reach the 3% deficit target next Tuesday.
“However, Sinn Féin believed that there would be further scope and tonight that has proven to be the case.
“The figures released by the government at midnight show that without any policy change at all the deficit would come in at 2.4% in 2015 which is much lower than the required 3%.
“This shows that the government is exceeding its target by over €1 billion.
“Sinn Féin has shown how water charges could be scrapped with a neutral budget. This additional leeway must be used to ease the burden on hard pressed families and invest in public services. The first item on the agenda should be the scrapping of the water charges.
“The government would have us believe that scrapping water charges is not an option but these figures prove them wrong.
“Sinn Féin has continually said the politics is about choices. If we were in government we would choose to get rid of water charges and the property tax.”