Young guns in Fine Gael only offer qualified welcome to Paschal Donohoe's #Budget18

Young Fine Gael have only offered a qualified welcome to the budget announced by Minister Paschal Donohoe in the Dáil today.

In a statement this evening the youth wing of Fine Gael said that while they welcomed aspects of Budget 2018 they also had strong reservations about elements of the tax and spending plans announced by their party Minister today.

The statement, released in the name of Vice President, Michael Ward, said that young Fine Gael recognised the positive moves to ease the ongoing housing shortage being experienced around the country and welcomed the pledge of €2.5 million to support the Gaeltacht and the advancement of the Irish language.

It went on: "We are also glad to see the introduction of a VAT refund scheme for the costs incurred by charities, though wonder why this cannot also be done for Automated External Defibrillators.

"However, we are disappointed that significant increases to all types of social welfare payments will come at the expense of minimal tax cuts for income tax payers, as well as the introduction of a stealth tax on sugary drinks.

"In this, we see the unwelcome influence of a discredited Fianna Fáil economic model of spending it if we have it—present in this Budget by virtue of the Confidence and Supply agreement existing between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil."

The statement went on to quote President of Young Fine Gael, Marian O’Donnell, as saying that Budget 2018 was a mixed bag.

"There are positives in the form of commitments to spending on climate change and the construction of social housing, as well as increases in the budgets for departments like Health, Education, and Defence.

"However, Young Fine Gael had lobbied strongly for meaningful tax cuts on behalf of workers and particularly young workers who sacrificed the most during the economic crisis.

"To safeguard our future and the future of young people, we feel this should have been prioritised over social welfare increases, which, to Young Fine Gael, do not represent an equitable spread of the benefits of a booming economy across the board."


Most Read in Ireland