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Sinn Féin offers ‘fairer and viable alternative’ to Government’s ‘slash and burn approach’

16 November, 2009

At the launch of Sinn Féin’s pre-Budget submission today, Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD said there is a fairer and viable alternative to the government’s slash and burn approach to tackling the economic crisis.

Deputy Morgan said:

“Government proposals to cut social welfare and public services will not lead to recovery but will push this economy deeper into recession.

“This is the course that the government has followed for the past 14 months. Every measure they have introduced has further shrunk the economy.

“Evidence of this can be found in the pre-Budget outlook which refers back to projections made at the time of the supplementary budget last April regarding the deficit estimated for December 2010. This figure of almost €20 billion now appears to be closer to €22 billion.

“Over the course of seven months tax receipts have fallen by €2 billion — a direct result of cutting spending and targeting tax increases at the low paid.

“There is a fairer and viable alternative to the government’s slash and burn approach. We must invest in jobs and protect public services and social welfare — to protect citizens, not bank managers and the wealthy.

“Our pre-Budget submission demonstrates where money can be raised for both a stimulus and a deficit reducing measure to keep international lenders happy. Our proposals for raising revenue include:

* standardizing discretionary tax reliefs, raising €1.1 billion;
* introducing a 3rd tax rate of 48% on income over €100,000, raising €355 million;
* placing a 1% wealth tax on assets over €1 million excluding farmland, raising €1.6 billion; and
* capping all public service salaries at €100,000, raising €450 million.

“Our proposals for a stimulus package include a €600 million jobs retention fund, a cut in excise duty over the Christmas period and a cost of living reduction package for households.

“Sinn Féin does not want a high tax economy. We want a fair tax economy. Dealing with the shortfall in revenue must begin by increasing taxes for those who can afford it and reducing wages of higher grade public sector workers.

“Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission throws down the gauntlet to the government. Their choices now will either put us on the road to recovery or deeper into recession.” ENDS

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