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Noonan’s USC plan needs an economic risk assessment – Doherty

18 May, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Deputy Pearse Doherty today called on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to, at the very least, put in place an economic risk analysis of the Fine Gael/ Fianna Fáil plan to phase out USC. The Donegal TD accused the Minister of being committed to the same flawed and dangerous economic policies of the McCreevy era.

Deputy Doherty said:

“From Minister Noonan's response today, it appears that the government have no regard to the economic risk associated with this massive tax cut and are intent on continuing down the same dangerous path of previous boom bust governments by whittling down the tax base. In fact today, Minister Noonan did Charlie McCreevy proud by claiming that the tax take will increase as tax rates go down. We all know where that type of thinking led us.

“Minister Noonan today highlighted how Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and Labour are almost identical in their positions on USC. This should come as no surprise given that these three parties all agreed to the tax cutting agenda of Charlie McCreevy which is now universally accepted as having played a major role in the fiscal crash. Sinn Fein are the only party offering an alternative to boom bust politics and run down public services.

“The government is still committed to the abolition of the USC as per the Programme for Government despite the exposure of this promise as unrealistic and irresponsible during the election campaign.

“USC is a major component of the State’s income, with the Department of Finance estimating that in its current form, it would bring in €4.6 billion in 2020. Given the pressures our public services are under, such our hospitals, and the fact that we have the second lowest level of public capital investment in the EU. Pledging to abolish it is reckless. The refusal to carry out an economic risk analysis shows the Minister has no confidence in this policy but is committed as an ideological policy.” 

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