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€390m in USC cuts in McGrath and Noonan’s budget, €2m for Scoliosis sufferers – Doherty

7 February, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said it is now clear the Budget cobbled together by Michael McGrath and Michael Noonan was a reckless tax cutting Budget that has left our public services even deeper in crisis. He compared the Health Minister’s pride in allocating an extra €2m to Scoliosis treatment to his silence about the €390m in USC cuts which was voted in by the two parties. That is almost 200 times less than what could be found for tax cuts.

He said both parties should now admit they had got it wrong and their manifesto commitments were reckless and achievable except at the cost of destroying our public services.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Only Sinn Féin stood an election platform that showed in hard figures how we would not indulge in reckless tax cuts and instead invest in our public services. The Fine Gael/Fianna Fail majority have unfortunately done exactly what they promised and slashed taxes, €390m alone in USC cuts in their first Budget. The result is a deepening crisis in our public services.

“Minister Simon Harris seemed to want kudos for investing an extra €2m in scoliosis treatment. He failed to mention the Fine Gael budget gave a €390m tax cut with the better off benefiting a lot more than the average worker, almost 200 times as much.

“Fianna Fáil are the party that drove the economy off the cliff in the first place and would do it again in a heartbeat. They have zero credibility as the voice of reason when it comes to the economy. Their election manifesto committed to a €2.64bn in USC cuts. Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil should now admit that you cannot both erode the tax base and invest in public services. They should now accept that they were wrong to propose such a massive tax cut while our public services are in such crisis.

“What we have are two parties which have been thoroughly exposed as being on the wrong side of the argument and are now scurrying to reposition themselves as being opposed to reckless tax cuts. Fianna Fáil is every bit as committed as Fine Gael to cutting tax at the expense of public services. It is laid out clearly in words in their manifesto and in deed in their support for the €390m tax cut in USC alone in the last Budget. They have not changed their spots.” 

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