Labour's Broughan slams Budget
Unless the Government changes social welfare cuts Budget 2013 will be remembered as a “day of shame and infamy” for the Labour party for decades to come, according to one of its members.
Tommy Broughan who is outside the parliamentary party, said that while there were positive aspects to the budget, in overall terms “this is a sad day for the Labour Party. The Fine Gael Party set its priorities and ran rings around my party on many aspects of the budget.”
The Dublin North East TD said the budget would be remembered as the day the Labour Party cut €10 from child benefit. It would be remembered in the same way as the decision taken in 1924 to cut the old age pension. The cuts in social welfare were a “grave error” he said.
He said that a number of weeks ago a delegation from the Labour party made a number of proposals relating to people with massive wealth and on higher incomes. “If implemented, the proposals would have realised approximately €1 billion. They were costed by the Department of Finance through parliamentary questions and offered an alternative to the measures in today's budget.”
He welcomed the provision to cap the value of pension contributions eligible for tax relief at €60,000 as a “significant victory” for the Labour Party.
He said the Minister for Finance had rubbished his proposal to establish a commission on top pay, similar to that proposed by the Labour Party in the UK,
“He does not want to know where the wealth is in this country and why would he given that his party and Fianna Fáil have for decades represented that wealth in this House?”
He called on the Labour Party “to stand up and be counted and stop kowtowing to Fine Gael”.
A number of Labour TDs heckled Mr Broughan as he spoke during a debate on capital taxation.
Mr Broughan said “the hard road for Labour Party Deputies to take is to walk beside me but they have chosen to take the easy way out. The hard way is to stand up and be counted and to seek to form a Government led by the Labour Party.”
Labour Chief Whip Emmet Stagg said Mr Broughan “chose the easy way by walking away”.
Dublin South East TD Kevin Humphreys said Mr Broughan “has always been consistent in that when the going gets tough, he always gets going. Has never in his life stayed around for a decent fight.”
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin said he had never seen such “bitter” exchanges as those between Labour Party TDs.