Budget 'unjust and unfair'

 

The 2011 Budget was “unjust, unfair and inequitable” and followed a failed model for development, Social Justice Ireland said today.

The organisation, headed by Fr Sean Healy, said the claim made by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan that the budget was progressive and had distributed the burden fairly “was patently untrue”.

In an analysis and critique of the Budget, in which cuts and tax increases amounting to €6 billion were made, it said the working poor, low income families, carers, the sick, people with disabilities, children and the unemployed would “take the hit”. Senior bond holders, the corporate sector and those who benefit from tax breaks that had not been removed would “escape”.

Poor people were the biggest losers, and people on social welfare would see their poverty deepen or would be pushed into poverty, the organisation said. “Ireland’s poorest have been condemned to penury by this Government’s choices,” it said.

Many people would be driven into poverty as a result, and others would be in much deeper poverty. “This budget was not progressive, in fact it was deeply unjust and unfair,” the organisation said.

It also said a smaller adjustment of €4 billion to €4.5 billion would have been in the longer term interests of the economy.

“Overall, the scale of the Budget 2011 is too severe and the impact it will have on Ireland’s potential to recover is excessive.”

Social Justice Ireland said all bondholders should share the burden of bank debt and negotiations with them were “long overdue”.

It also said there was a significantly greater potential for tax reform. While the Budget had made some tax changes, the serious work of broadening the tax base had been left for future years and another government, it said.