Bruton says Budget won't be changed
Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton has said cuts to respite care allowances for carers will not be reversed.
He said that the Budget had been agreed by Government and “it is not going to be changed”.
When asked how he could justify that particular cut as fair, Mr Bruton responded: “We would prefer not to be making cuts in any areas. You could say that of any cut of any new tax that we are developing.
“There will always be challenges to it, but the truth is that we have to deliver a budget with difficult decisions across the board.
“At the core of our strategy we have to rebuild our economy and see strong enterprises and job growth. That is going to sort our public finances problem.”
When questioned by reporters as to whether or not the Labour Party will support the cut when it comes to the Social Welfare bill, he replied: “Absolutely, we have two parties that are determined to deal with the extraordinary economic mess that we have inherited.
“We have known from the start that this involves difficult decisions. We are committed to that journey. That’s the mandate we got from the people.”
Speaking at an announcement of another 100 jobs at the American multinational company Nypro in Bray, Mr Bruton said it was important the Government hit its targets in terms of budgetary numbers.
“We have rebuilt international confidence in this economy because we are hitting the targets we have set. That is bearing fruit in a good strong flow of employment.”
Mr Bruton was also questioned about reports that a 3 per cent hike in universal social insurance (USI) was ruled out because it would be detrimental to the efforts to get high paid executives of foreign multinationals to locate in Ireland.
He responded: “I’m not going to get into individual options. The Budget has been decided. At the core of the Budget is the focus on employment as very important. The real focus is to see small and medium enterprises grow.”
Industrial Development Authority (IDA) chief executive Barry O’Leary said not increasing the USC on top earners was necessary for Ireland to remain competitive in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
The IDA’s clients had indicated that such a hike would be damaging as there was a feeling already that the marginal rates of taxation were too high in Ireland, he explained.
“Already we are picking up from multinational companies that the marginal rate is too high if you add everything on to it. If you add on to it when other countries are vying for foreign direct investment, it would be damaging to getting that business into Ireland,” he said.
In relation to the fairness of the measure, he said: "In isolation if you looked at in the island of Ireland, that would be one thing, but unfortunately the business we are competing for is globally mobile. We saw the UK introduce measures to attract investment. It is not what we think is fair or not on the island of Ireland. It is international competition.”