Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has said the Government’s budget today proves Fine Gael and Labour are clearly motivated by the short term and fails to set out any credible vision for fairness and solidarity in recovery.
Deputy McGrath said: “Fine Gael and Labour have clearly decided to fire the first shot today in their general election campaign and in doing so they have proved they have learned nothing from the recent economic crisis. This budget is more about short term political gain than what is right for the Irish economy and our people.
“The measures announced today have utterly failed to provide any real help for people who need it most. A minimum wage worker earning €17,500 will pay €174 less tax/USC as a result of today’s budget but people earning €70,000 benefit four times more than those on the minimum wage. The savings for low income earners will be more than wiped out by the new water charges in January.
“There is no vision today for what a post-austerity Ireland will look like, no statement of our values as a people and certainly no talk of fairness and solidarity in our recovery. Today’s budget exposes very clearly this government’s flawed priorities. At the first opportunity, the government’s priority is not to undo some of the social harm caused by 6 years of tough austerity but instead is to design tax cuts that put disproportionately far more money into the pockets of those with the highest incomes. That speaks volumes about where this government’s priorities lie.
“Fianna Fáil is putting forward a real alternative. For the first time in decades, there is an opposition party prepared to stand back from the crowd, prepared to show courage and put responsible politics ahead of courting popularity. Fianna Fáil has learned from the mistakes of the past, but Fine Gael and Labour seemed destined to repeat them.
“Instead of ensuring we bed down the recovery in the economy and target any help at low and middle income families and the most vulnerable Fine Gael and Labour have prioritised short term political gain over what is right for people and right for the economy.”