SF proposes to cut TDs' pay in alternative Budget
Sinn Féin is proposing to cut politicians' pay and abolish the property tax in its alternative Budget.
Published this afternoon, it also proposes to take nearly 300,000 workers out of the Universal Social Charge.
The plan contains a total adjustment of around €2.5bn, roughly the same as the plan revealed by the Finance Minister Michael Noonan this morning.
However, the party's Finance Spokesman Pearse Doherty said that is where the similarities will end.
He said ordinary people would be better off under Sinn Féin as they would lower the tax burden on ordinary families, protect public services and invest in jobs.
Deputy Doherty said: "We have identified a series of taxation and savings measures, fully costed by government departments, to reduce the deficit and pay for new spending measures.
"These include giving 1.8 million homeowners a tax rebate by abolishing the property tax, restoring the respite grant for 86,000 carers, taking 296,000 low income workers out of the USC, providing free school meals to five hundred more schools and halving the cost of school books, giving every child under five free GP care, extending the fuel allowance by three weeks, protecting the vulnerable – no more cuts to disability payments, no more cuts to Child Benefit, no more cuts to social welfare and introducing a stimulus to create thousands of jobs.
"These proposals are all fully costed by the government’s budgetary costing unit.
"The document also sets out proactive measures to assist job creation, SMEs, the agriculture sector, and people in mortgage distress. It deals with corporation tax and natural resources and also stresses our commitment to equality budgeting.
"Our adjustment is just under €2.5bn. We believe that families need to be given a break. Austerity is not working. The government needs to take its foot off the necks of the people. With this document we show how people are better off under Sinn Féin.”
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said his party’s budget submission, launched today, shows that there is a fair way to reduce the deficit.
He said: "Austerity isn’t working. The government’s priority in this budget should be to protect citizens rather than meeting European diktats.
"Some 415,000 people are on the live register while 300,000 emigrated in the last four years.
"There are 49,000 people waiting for hospital treatments.
"One in ten children are living in consistent poverty with 47% of households living on less than €100 a month after bills.
"There are 90,000 households languishing on social housing lists while 180,000 households are in mortgage distress.
He said next week's budget will be the seventh austerity budget from Fianna Fáil and the Government which "together will have taken €30bn out of the economy".
He said: "People need a break. Sinn Féin’s alternative budget reduces the tax burden on ordinary families, protects public services and invests in jobs.
"Our proposal identifies measures that will allow for a €2.453 million adjustment.
"It sets out measures to assist job creation; small and medium businesses, the agriculture sector and people in mortgage distress and it emphasis Sinn Féin’s commitment to equality budgeting.
"The government is now claiming that its adjustment will be €2.5bn. The difference between our proposals and theirs is that Sinn Féin’s alternative achieves this is a fair and equitable way."
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