Donohoe tax chatter reveals FG spooked by poll ratings and SF tax populism

11 December 2021

Labour Party Finance Spokesperson, Ged Nash TD, has described comments made by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe in this morning’s papers about a multi-annual tax cutting package as wrong for our economy and society.

Deputy Nash said:

“The Minister’s pledge to embark on a tax-cutting crusade is the wrong thing do. It is a transparently populist attempt to buy people’s support with their own money. This money would be better spent on making education free and on cutting hospital waiting lists.”

“The timing of the Minister’s intervention is interesting coming after a very bad poll for Fine Gael. Fine Gael is clearly spooked and is now involving itself in a populist tax cutting race to the bottom to match SF’s wildly irresponsible carbon, property and USC slashing binge.

“At a time when we should be broadening and strengthening and modernising the tax base, some seek to narrow it.
“We’re in danger of having a race to the bottom here. We all know that what the Irish economy needs now is additional investment in areas like housing, health, infrastructure and climate adaptation, not tax cuts worth a few euros a week.

“These are the points being made by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. This tax cutting stuff is more reminiscent of the dangerous policies pursued in the early and mid 2000s.

“It will be difficult to take Minister Donohoe seriously when next he talks about the size of the national debt or the need to control public spending.

“What we need now is an honest conversation with the Irish people about what our economy, our creaking public services and our under-financed climate policy requires over the next decade rather than try to cynically buy them off with short term tax cuts.”

Deputy Nash continued;

“It is also bizarre for the Minister to be talking in this fashion while the Commission on Taxation & Welfare which he set up is beginning its work.

“What is the point of setting up an expert Commission at considerable expense, if you’ve already made your mind up about the direction of travel?

“Fine Gael are clearly spooked by Sinn Fein’s relentless tax populism in light of recent opinion polls and seem intent on following them down that road.

“This for me, however, has to be the decade we get both economic, public investment and climate policy right. Labour will not be joining either of them down the road of short-term populism.”

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