Fine Gael/Labour proposals will lead to higher costs and higher unemployment
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Peadar Tóibín TD, said today:
“This government continues to make the wrong choices. At every turn it has backtracked on election pledges and continued the failed policies economic policies of the previous government.
“In 2009, in Brian Lenihan admitted that the VAT increases he introduced were completely counterproductive and resulted in a loss of revenue to business. Two years deeper into an economic downturn, this government again is considering an increase in VAT, which will result in job losses and higher cost to consumers.
“Taken with the proposal, made available to German parliamentarians, to develop out-of-town hypermarkets. It would appear that this government is not content with attacking the low-paid and those on benefit, it is also acting against business interests.
“For the last eight months I have been pressing the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, to begin the process with the Northern Executive to equalise tax and excise rates across the island of Ireland.
“Having fluctuations and disparities in these rates undermines our island economy and in particular the economy of border counties.
“We need is a level playing field for all retailers, but by taking this decision Fine Gael and Labour TDs are actively causing jobs losses and damaging the ability of retailers to withstand the challenges of recession.
“Sinn Féin in the North is pushing for these fiscal powers to be transferred from London to Belfast to facilitate this as soon as possible.
“The government needs to drop the plans for a VAT rate increase and sit down with the administration in Stormont to iron out these differences.
“The government has choices to make it does not have to continue to bail out banks. It does not have to introduce a budget that will attack those in poverty and it should not pursue policies that undermine our economy.
“The government proposals are bad for our people, bad for our small retailers and bad for jobs.”