Sinn Féin - On Your Side

McDowell makes bid for auction politician of the year

20 April, 2007

Responding to the launch of the PD's economic document today Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said the electorate deserves to be treated with a little more respect than what has now been shown by all the establishment parties. Ms. McDonald said increased and improved quality public services can not be delivered along with massive tax cuts no matter what way you do the sums.

Ms. McDonald said, "This election, if everybody was honest enough, should be about a clear choice between those parties who want to neglect public services in favour of massive tax cuts and those who would use the tax take to provide increased and improved public services such as hospitals, houses and schools.

"However, in the lust for power, all the establishment parties have now promised massive tax cuts along with increased and improved public services. This just does not add up no matter what way you do the sums and I think the electorate deserves to be treated with a little more respect than is currently been shown.

"Michael McDowell's proposals to reform stamp duty will not sit well with his coalition partners in Fianna Fáil who have clearly stated their opposition such a move. Sinn Féin will also not support a reform of stamp duty as developers would inevitably cash in on the potential by increasing house prices and house buyers would be no better off. Instead we plan to increase mortgage tax relief for first time buyers and to build 70,000 new social houses in the lifetime of the next Government.

"For Sinn Féin our priorities in Government will be to create a strong economy sustainable into the future. We would immediately lower the tax burden on low and average income earners and remove unfair tax advantages for the wealthy. Our initial priorities will be to stop tax breaks for private for profit hospital developers, increase the minimum wage to 60% of the average industrial wage and keep those earning it out of the tax net.

"We plan to use the tax take to end the crises in the health services and in housing and to invest in proper schools so our children are taught in clean environments and in classes of at most twenty children. We also plan to invest in proper fully integrated public transport systems for urban and rural areas. All of this cannot be achieved with massive tax cuts.

"For ten years there has been unprecedented revenue available to the Government. The PD's and Fianna Fáil have had the ability and the resources to deal effectively with poverty and inequality. They have the resources to deliver an end to the crisis in the health service, to build social and affordable housing and to provide a decent education system. The sad fact is that they chose not to do so. And now, in another show of auction politics, McDowell is proposing to do all of this and cut taxes at the same time." ENDS

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