Fianna Fáil focus on housing ahead of final confidence and supply budget

Barry Cowen

A large increase in the spend on social and affordable housing in the budget is being negotiated, according to Fianna Fáil.

The party has been outlining its priorities ahead of next week's budget.

Fianna Fáil has a key role to play in the make-up of this budget - the last of the confidence and supply arrangement with Fine Gael.

Public Expenditure Spokesperson Barry Cowen says there needs to be a significant increase in spending on social and affordable housing.

"Not enough emphasis and funding has gone into an affordable scheme that meets the demands of the market presently," said Mr Cowen.

"We need to overhaul any existing schemes in order to tailor them to meet the demand that's there."

Income tax is another focus.

Fianna Fáil wants a cut to the 4.75% rate of USC that everyone earning between €19,000 and €70,000 pays.

"We would like to see a combination of a change to the entry to the higher rate alongside the USC reductions," said Finance Spokesperson is Michael McGrath.

This is the final budget of the confidence and supply arrangement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and so far both sides have been cagey about when they will actually start re-negotiating it.

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