Labour TD votes against Vat measure

Tue, Dec 6, 2011, 00:00

Government backbencher Patrick Nulty formally left the Labour parliamentary party tonight after voting against the Government’s move to increase Vat from 21 per cent to 23 per cent.

The Government however had a comfortable majority of 105 to 51 for the taxation measure which comes into effect on January 1st next.

Mr Nulty is the third Labour TD to jump ship in the past month and joins former minister of State Willie Penrose and Dublin North East TD Tommy Broughan on the independent benches.

He also joins former Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten who moved to the Independent benches after he voted against the Government in early July in a motion by Sinn Féin to retain emergency services at smaller hospitals.

The newly-elected Dublin West TD and constituency colleague of Labour Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, voted with the Government on a number of budget measures including the 25 cent excise increase in a 20 packet of cigarettes, on the increases in vehicle registration tax and motor tax and on the increase in petrol and diesel.

Introducing the Vat increase measure Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said the change will apply to goods and services such as cars, petrol and auto diesel, electrical equipment, CDs, DVDs, alcohol, cigarettes, telecommunications, furniture, cosmetics, adult clothing and footwear.

He said it would raise €670 million in a full year and would have 0.67 per cent impact on the consumer price index.

Fianna Fail spokesman on enterprise Willie O’Dea decried the move as “absolutely insane” and said that “for the 44th successive month in a row retail sales have fallen”.

He described the move as "economically illiterate".