Gilmore reiterates tax pledge

Fri, Feb 18, 2011, 00:00

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has reiterated that his party will not raise the amount of tax paid by people earning less than €100,000 per annum.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Today with Pat Kenny, Mr Gilmore also said Labour would not impose water charges on homeowners but that it was in favour of phasing out tax reliefs such as Section 23 and a property tax on second homes.

Mr Gilmore said Labour would see the Croke Park Agreement out if in government. He denied it would just serve the interests of trade unions. “If an agreement is made and it is negotiated and people voted for it then it should be honoured,” he said, adding that the party was committed to speedily seeing through the reforms connected to the deal.

He said Labour would reduce the Taoiseach’s salary by 25 per cent if in government and the amount paid to ministers. However, he said the amount paid to TDs had fallen by 40 per cent and that this would not be reduced further.

Mr Gilmore said Labour would not like to see the ban on stag hunting with hounds reversed, even though his party voted against the legislation last year.

On health, Mr Gilmore said people earning over €35,000 would likely have to pay for cover under its universal healthcare proposals. He said his party was committed to protecting the education sector from cutbacks and that children with special needs would not be short-changed by a Labour government.

Mr Gilmore has said in the past that he is an atheist. When questioned if Ireland was ready for an atheist Taoiseach, he said he believed Ireland was a very tolerant country where the rights and beliefs of individuals were respected.