Budget must focus on people not tax cuts

20 September 2017

Labour Leader Brendan Howlin TD has reiterated his call at Leader’s Questions for the Budget to be refocused on public services rather than paltry tax cuts.

Deputy Howlin said:

“At Leaders Questions today I called on the Taoiseach to stop the phoney war with Fianna Fail over tax cuts that will simply benefit the better off half of our society, and instead focus on investing in services.

“The phoney battle going on through the media between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail comes down to a choice between the top 50% of earners an extra €4 a week, or giving the top 70% just €2 a week. Both choices are regressive.

“Both will deliver little to individual people and will starve us of the capacity to invest in public services.

“Today, I suggested that the same amount of money could be used to reduce college fees by €1,000 as a first step towards getting rid of them, to cut class sizes in primary and second-level schools, to increase childcare wages to at least the living wage, and to eliminate waiting lists for home care packages. These measures would have a real impact.

“A Budget involves making choices. If resources are scarce, the only progressive thing to do is to ensure we have quality public services which make a difference to the people who depend on them.

“Over the coming three weeks the Labour Party will continue to make the case for the Budget to be focused on investment in public services.”

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