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3 December 2009 Edition

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Government lying on budget options - Doherty

Pearse Doherty

Pearse Doherty

Speaking in the Seanad on Tuesday Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty accused the Government of lying to people when it says there is no alternative to the budget of cuts which it is set to announce next week.
Doherty said there is an onus on all parties who oppose the Government’s strategy to put forward their own ideas.
He said:
“We need to have an honest debate regarding the budget. In order to do so the Government must acknowledge that there is an alternative to the slash and burn budget which they are preparing to announce next week. The fact is that they are lying to people when they say there is no alternative.
“There is an onus on all party’s who oppose the Government’s strategy to put forward their own ideas and Sinn Féin is currently the only party to have put forward a viable set of costed proposals which would return more money to the public finances than the Government is seeking without targeting social welfare, child benefit or public services.
“Our proposals reject the notion that everybody has to pay on the grounds that many people simply can’t afford to pay, are not at fault for this economic mess and did not benefit from the economic boom when it was here.
“Instead we seek to target those who can afford to pay more, those who benefited most during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years and those who contributed to creating this economic mess.
“We are seeking to introduce a tax on wealth on assets worth more than €1million, a third tax band on incomes over €100,000 per annum, the standardisation of discretionary tax reliefs at the lower rate of tax and the abolition of property based tax reliefs.
“Our proposals would bridge the deficit by €3.7billion and also create a €3.2billion jobs package to keep people at work and get those currently unemployed back to work. But we seek to do this by targeting those who can afford to pay rather than those who can’t.
“The Government would rather tackle old age pensioners, the unemployed, children and those on low incomes than to target the high earners in this state.”
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