Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Seán Fleming has said the party’s Budget 2013 proposals represent the fairest way possible to achieve the €3.5bn adjustment needed next year.

Deputy Fleming said: “Our plan includes a 50:50 balance between spending adjustments and new forms of taxation while protecting key services.  The Government is proposing more spending cuts which will hit ordinary people who depend on health, education and social protection services.  Fianna Fáil does not believe there needs to be any cuts in the basic social welfare rates and child benefit payments should not be touched.

“A significant pillar of our document published today outlines new financial provision to restore unfair cuts made by the Government to services including home help hours and 3rd level grants. 

“Fianna Fáil’s proposals for Budget 2013 provide money for Free GP care to be introduced for all newborn children from the beginning of next year and we have allocated funding to commence a new garda recruitment campaign in 2013.

The Laois TD explained, “We are proposing that education, disability services and mental health be fully protected in this budget.  Fianna Fáil has worked out measures to exceed the Government’s own tax targets for next year, without slapping hard-pressed homeowners with hefty property taxes.  Our plan sets out a fairer way to recovery – focussing on families and ensuring those best able to bear the burden do so.”