What has Sinn Fein got against low and middle income families?

23 February 2016

Most low and middle income families will be hammered under Sinn Fein’s regressive tax proposals announced today.

Sinn Fein has pledged to retain punitive USC rates for all earners, bar those on less than €20,000. What that means in practise is that even when you take into account their populist proposals to scrap, water charges and property tax, low and middle income families would be significantly worse off under Sinn Fein’s plan compared to those of the Labour Party.

Sinn Fein’s three-card tax trick is not going to fool anybody.

They claim to be “anti-austerity”, but in fact, it is clear that they’re hell-bent on copper-fastening the single biggest imposition on working families that has come about as a result of the economic and financial crash of 2008-2010.

Quite how they square that with their claim to represent ordinary working families is a mystery. Is this what they mean when they talk about their “fair recovery”?

For example, under Labour plans, a single man on €20,000 living in a rented house valued will take home an additional €716 per annum. Under Sinn Fein’s plan there will be no reduction in USC or PRSI, although he will benefit by €60 per year from the abolition of water charge. His landlord will no longer have to pay property tax and will be better off by €420.

A married couple with a household income of €75,000, living in Santry in a house worth €300,000, would see a combined reduction of €580 under Sinn Fein.

Under Labour’s plan they will pay no USC means they will be better off to the tune of €3,302.

Since we came into Govt in 2011, we have taken 700,000 low-earners out of the USC net, and we will continue to do so.

We will stand up for working families by easing the burden on those least. Low and middle income earners will be scratching their heads wondering what they have done to Sinn Fein to deserve this hammering.

Anti-austerity? Don’t make me laugh.

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