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Labour Party all over the place on tax policy – MacLochlainn

4 February, 2011

Responding to the Labour Party proposal to increase the VAT rate by 1% Sinn Féin Deputy Mayor of Donegal and General Election candidate for Donegal North East Councillor Padraig MacLochlainn has said that the Labour Party are ‘all over the place’ and are changing policy to suit different interests every day.

Describing VAT as a ‘stealth tax which hits the least well off hardest Councillor MacLochlainn said that a further increase would not only disproportionately affect the least well-off in society but would also have a huge impact on consumer spending driving people across the border for shopping.

Councillor MacLochlainn said:

“The Labour Party are all over the place on tax, they are changing their policy to suit different interests every day. This proposal on VAT is clearly to suit their future coalition partners in Fine Gael.

“VAT is a stealth tax which impacts disproportionately on the least well off. It will also have a huge impact on consumer spending forcing people struggling to cope with rising prices across the border for shopping. As someone from a border county I know all too well the affects that this would have on small businesses on the border.

 “Sinn Féin has proposed a range of options for reform of the taxation system which do not place the burden on struggling families but instead make the wealthy pay their fair share.

“We have proposed a 1% wealth tax which would raise €1 billion per year; we have also proposed a new third rate of tax of 48% for those earning over €100,000 per year and until recently the Labour Party supported us in this proposal.

“If the Labour Party were truly a party of the left they would be looking at how to protect those on low and middle incomes and the unemployed. They would be concentrating on reforming the taxation system to make it fair. Instead they are choosing to propose VAT increases which they know will impact disproportionately on struggling people. They are choosing to fall into line with Fine Gael.

“The Labour Party need to make their minds up. The people want a real, fairer alternative. This is not it.” ENDS

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