Donohoe defends tax cuts despite growing pressures on public services

The Minister for Finance has defended his decision to reduce both USC rates and change tax bands so that fewer people will pay the top rate.

Minister Paschal Donohoe was responding to criticism of the moves and said the tax cuts were necessary.

Speaking at post budget briefing he said in our current system of taxation if you are on avarage wage you are on a higher rate of income tax.

"If we do not begin to tackle that ... this will be an issue that will result in Ireland losing jobs ... and result in our competitiveness being undermined."

Sinn Féin's Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty said, however, that the government has failed spectacularly with today's budget and suggested it was a lie to suggest you can cut taxes and solve the problem of the health and housing crises.

The Donegal South West TD says the notion of "balancing the books" means nothing to ordinary members of the public.

"What does it mean to the parents who have to watch their children suffer in pain because they can't access treatmenet in our crumbling health service.

"Or how comforting is your version of balancing the books to the elderly man who was this morning lying on a hospital trolly."

KEYWORDS: Budget 2018


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