Fianna Fáil Spokesman on Public Expenditure and Financial Sector Reform Michael McGrath has today warned that the Government could be preparing to abandon another one of the central planks of the entire Fine Gael election campaign as the Minister for Finance refused to rule out any increases to income tax.

Speaking in the Dàil today, Minister Michael Noonan said: “I am not going to rule out any tax initiative, or any tax increase or any tax reduction.”

Responding to this Deputy McGrath said: “The Minister’s comments completely undermine the commitment in the Programme for Government to ‘maintain the current rates of income tax together with bands and credits’.”  In just two days, Minister Noonan has announced the abandonment of two of the highest profile pledges of the entire Fine Gael campaign.  Remember, it was Minister Noonan who, during the campaign solemnly declared, “if we tax, we lose more jobs”.

Pointing to the Government’s backtracking this week on the issue of Ireland’s interest rate Deputy McGrath said: “At this rate, the Government is performing U turns on an almost daily basis. The most striking feature of the Government’s first one hundred days in office is the scale and regularity of promises that have been cynically abandoned.”