Labour will not take lectures from FF on USC reform

12 January 2016

Today’s comments from Fianna Fail Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath that his party would cut USC are barely credible.

First, the USC is Fianna Fail’s baby. This tax was one of the first measures that they introduced in response to the economic downturn that they directly caused and was so ruinous for the country.

The USC was itself born from the disastrous decision to guarantee the banks. Labour alone opposed this measure and was the only party in the Dail to do so.

It is hard, therefore, to listen to their Leader and Finance Spokesperson – both of whom backed the introduction of the USC – now talk about reforming it.

Rather, it is The Labour Party that has delivered significant reductions to the USC for low and middle income families since we took office five years ago. One of our first decisions was to take the lowest paid out of the USC net. We followed this up by a series of reductions focussed on low and middle income earners.

In our election manifesto, we are also pledging to abolish the USC entirely on earnings up to €72,000 over five years. This will mean that the overwhelming majority of working families pay will pay no USC whatsoever.

Indeed, it is hard to take serious Fianna Fail’s claims on the USC when they appear to have no path to government. Their only option seems to be a marriage of convenience with Sinn Fein, but even today they have repeated opposition to this.

This beggars the question, how are Fianna Fail going to put together a government to implement these proposals.

The Labour Party is standing up for working families through USC reform. We have the credibility and record of achievement to deliver, and only we can provide the type of stable and balanced government that will benefit families further.

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