Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Wicklow Cllr Jennifer Cuffe says she is astonished by the measures put forward by Renua following the launch of the party’s General Election manifesto and has called on her constituency rival Billy Timmins to clarify whether he supports the right wing policies within it.
Cllr Cuffe says the proposals are poorly thought out and would lead to massive cuts in public service if implemented. Renua also want to increase the tax paid by low income earners. In December the party was forced to take down their tax calculator on their website after it revealed that an employee on the minimum wage would pay €800 a year more in income tax under Renua’s proposals.
“One of the more bizarre proposals put forward by Renua is the promise to abolish motor tax and replace it with a fuel levy. This will have a huge negative impact on commuters in Wicklow. Petrol and diesel prices would skyrocket making it more expensive for people to get to work. Haulage firms would also have to deal with huge increases in costs, which in turn would be passed on to businesses and consumers.
“It’s astonishing that Renua have completely failed to mention Irish Water in its election manifesto, despite promising to bring forward detailed proposals on the issue over a year ago. Fianna Fáil’s position on this is clear: we will abolish Irish Water. What is Renua’s position on Irish Water, and why is Deputy Leader Billy Timmins issuing different statements on the issue when compared to its Leader Lucinda Creighton?
“Renua have little to offer the people of Wicklow other than slashing public services and attention seeking gimmicks that are ultimately unworkable.
“The 23% flat rate income tax is a deeply regressive proposal. Even on an optimistic basis Renua admit it will lead to a collapse of €3.5 billion in revenue for the State. To balance the books this would necessitate an immediate 10% slashing of social welfare payments such as child benefit, disability allowance and pensions. Renua wants to ring-fence wealth for the most well off in society while at the same time slashing services and pay for everyone else. This would be bad for Wicklow and bad for the country as a whole.”