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Budget 2016 should have citizens at its heart – Reilly

30 September, 2015

Speaking today in the Seanad, Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly called on the government to implement a budget focused on equality throughout Irish society that will benefit the many and not just the privileged few.

The Seanad Finance Spokesperson said:

“Speaking about ‘recovery’ will seem crazy to many given how much of a struggle everyday life remains for those who carried the burden over the past number of years, and are still carrying the burden. We in Sinn Féin are under no illusion that what recovery there is only being felt by a few and is limited to certain people, sectors and regions.

“It is time for a Fair Recovery. Tackling inequality is not about simple measures of taking from the rich to give to the poor.  Economic inequality can only be reduced if policies join the dots between taxes, public services, jobs, wages and the cost of living.

“A key antidote to poverty and low incomes is more quality jobs. The OECD has said that the fostering of better jobs for a larger proportion of the workforce will be key to reducing inequality. This must be a priority.

“Without a doubt the first thing out of the Minister for Finance’s mouth on Budget day should be a commitment to abolish domestic Water Charges. The argument about savings is redundant following Eurostat’s comprehensive destruction of the laughable attempt by the government to have Irish Water counted off book. The abolition of water charges is not only fair, it is also extremely achievable and affordable.

“Sinn Fein’s vision for a fairer tax system will mean some will pay more, but it will not be struggling families who do so. We will stop the shifting of taxes onto wealth and on speculation instead of focusing them on lower and middle income earners as this government has done.

“In the coming years, the state faces demands for higher expenditure in health, education, social protection and pensions as the composition of Ireland’s population changes.

“Sinn Fein will not pretend that we can fund our public services and have better public services while collectively people pay less and less tax. It would be dishonest to do that. If we genuinely want to have better public services, we have to pay for them. Our fairer tax system will deliver sound revenues and more and better targeted public spending.” 

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