€1.75 billion shortfall in tax take demonstrates proposed tax cuts were never viable
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Economic Affairs, Arthur Morgan TD commenting on the publication of the '2008 Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure' said that its publication further demonstrated the correctness of the Sinn Féin's opposition to unviable tax cutting proposals made by Fianna Fail and other parties in advance of the General Election. The 2008 Estimates show that a €1.75 billion shortfall in tax take is now likely compared to the Budget 2007 forecast.
Deputy Morgan said
"The 2008 Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure' states that tax receipts are now forecast to be €1.75 billion below the 2007 Budget day target. These figures further reinforce the correctness of the argument made by Sinn Féin in the run up to the election that the Government could not with the slow down in economic growth and the developments in property and construction, afford to cut taxes.
Maintaining healthy public finances must underpin the Government's approach to Budget 2008 which is due to be published next week. If public finances are not kept in a healthy state it will not be in a position to ensure that everyone's basic needs and rights to housing, health and education are met in the years ahead. The lack of accuracy in projecting the tax take over recent years cause real difficulty in planning for the future. The failure to recognise the implication for tax receipts of a widely predicted decline in the construction and property sectors, despite the reference to these implication in tax strategy papers prepared for the Department of Finance raises questions about the competence of the Government on budgetary matters.
"Sinn Féin has called for Budget 2008 to focus on sustaining economic prosperity, ensuring everyone benefits from economic growth and particularly on improving quality and capacity within public services. We will judge the budget on the extent to which the Minister for Finance delivers on these issues and on a number of key public service spending demands which we have set out in recent days." Ends