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Fine Gael’s figures don’t add up - Pearse Doherty TD

2 February, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has unveiled a new party billboard which says Fine Gael’s numbers in relation to the fiscal space do not add up.

Deputy Doherty has accused Fine Gael of making election promises that it cannot keep in relation to its promised spending on public services.

Speaking today Deputy Doherty said;

“Fine Gael has been caught out on its election promises to abolish the USC. This was the main plank of its campaign but it simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

“It has now scrambled its figures to try and make out that there is more fiscal space which allows it to invest in public services while scrapping the USC. This is wrong. Their numbers don’t add up.

“For the last year they have announced the same proposals over and over again on a range of issues and they are trying the same trick with public finances.

“You can’t allocate 50% to USC cuts, 25% to contingency, 70% to public spending - Fine Gael figures don’t add up.

“The gross fiscal space is €12.7billion. Fine Gael has already committed €4.1billion of that to measures such as capital spend, demographics and public sector pay increases which were included in Budget 2016. So the real fiscal space available is €8.6billion.

“From that the government has allocated €3.2billion to their contingency plan and abolishing the USC will cost them €4billion.

“That leaves just €1.4billion for new investment in services which is just over 16% of the fiscal space and a far cry from the 70% that Fine Gael has promised.

“Sinn Féin’s plan for a fair recovery will see the party allocate 100% of the net €8.6billion available in the fiscal space to a contingency fund and to invest in public services including tackling the health crisis, starting to build the much needed 100,000 social and affordable homes and hiring 3,000 more Gardaí.

“In addition to this one of our first priorities in government is to ease the burden on the average family and we will do this by ending water charges and the property tax and taking 277,000 more workers out of the USC.”


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