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As Finance Minister my first priority would be to give families a break – Doherty

8 February, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that if he is Finance Minister in the next government, his first priority will be to give families a break, including those who are self-employed, by abolishing the Local Property Tax, ending water charges and taking a further 277,000 workers out of the USC.  He went on to say “It is clear that Fine Gael are all over the place on the economy and are scrambling to deal with the €2billion hole in their public finance plan”. 

Deputy Doherty said:

“For the last five years Fine Gael and Labour introduced budget after budget that protected high earners. To pay for this they placed a huge burden on the average worker and family and left thousands of Irish people on hospital trolleys and 1,500 children in emergency accommodation.

“Now in a desperate attempt to buy the election, Fine Gael are willing to risk returning the country to the reckless boom and bust policies of Fianna Fáil.  

“Fine Gael are all over the place on the economy and are scrambling to deal with the €2billion hole in their public finance plan.  

“Not long ago Michael Noonan said that “I see the USC as a permanent feature of the personal taxation system”. Yesterday he said he will abolish it as the “emergency is over”.  Only days ago they attacked our proposal to ask the top 6% of earners to pay seven per cent in the euro extra on income over €100,000, and yesterday they finally accepted that those earning above €100,000 should pay a higher tax. 

“The abolition of the USC in its entirety is unfair and reckless. The move benefits the better off a lot more than someone on an average wage and will mean that some high earners will be more than €10,000 better off while someone who earns €18,000 a year will be about €100 a year better off.  It also involves taking the equivalent of the entire health and education budgets out of the tax system over five years.

“Sinn Féin wants to see a fair recovery and we want to ensure it is sustainable.  In government we will introduce a fair tax system.  We will ease the burden on the average worker, including those who are self-employed, and ask those who earn the most to pay their fair share.

-We will abolish the Local Property Tax, saving 1.8 million homeowners an average of €244 per year.

-We will scrap water charges, saving a family of two adults €260 per year.

-We will remove 277,000 workers from the USC.

-We will ease the tax burden on the self-employed, moving towards the equalisation of the Self-Employed Tax Credit with the PAYE Tax Credit.

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