Government attempting to buy the next election – Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said accused the Government of attempting to buy votes with a giveaway budget later this year.
Deputy Doherty was speaking today as the Fiscal Advisory Council gave its support to the campaign for more budget flexibility.
Deputy Doherty said;
“It is well documented, by the Fiscal Advisory Council and others, that the real pressures on the economy are in the areas of health, education and pensions.
“However, pumping money into these areas does not win votes as quickly as cutting income tax levels.
“That is why, rather than seeking to address the real areas of concern in our economy, Enda Kenny and his Government are preparing to cut the higher rate of tax later this year in a giveaway budget designed to buy votes ahead of the upcoming general election.
“And he has the cheek to continually describe Sinn Féin as a populist party.
“I fully support the call for more flexibility in our budget but where Sinn Féin differs with the government is on how we use that flexibility.
“The priority should be to address the problems of under investment in our public services and then and only then should we be looking at cutting taxes beginning with the most regressive taxes first.
“That is why Sinn Féin’s commitment is to quality public services and the scrapping of the property tax and water charges. That is how we would put money back in people’s pockets.
“This government wants to start at the top, cutting the top rate of tax for high earners while leaving in place the flat taxes that impact most on those with low incomes such as the property tax and water charges.
“That is the choice now facing the electorate in the coming election. It is a choice between a Fine Gael led government that prioritises high earners or a Sinn Féin led government that prioritises on the basis of need.”