Labour election fears come to pass


"Look what Fine Gael have in Store for You" warns the visually striking advertisement taken out by the Labour Party in the dying days of the General Election in February 2011.

The poster then listed, with very graphic images, six measures that Fine Gael would introduce in Government that would hurt low and middle income families.

They were: a €50 hike in car tax; a 2 point hike in VAT bringing it to 23 per cent; a €238 per annum water tax; a €1 increase in wine tax, a €252 cut in child benefit for families with two children, and a 3 per cent hike in DIRT bringing it to 30 per cent.

The tag line was that with Fine Gael, "every little hurts".

What the advertisement did not explain was what the Labour Party have in store for you in Government.

The answer to that was: exactly the same as Fine Gael have in store for you.

For despite its warning to citizens, every single one of the six hikes in the advertisement have come to pass, or will come to pass in the next year or so.

The 15 per cent increase in motor taxes announced yesterday will mean a hike in car tax of at least €50 for most motorists.

The increase of the top rate of VAT to 23 per cent was already introduced in last year's Budget.

The Budget saw Michael Noonan announce that a €1 increase was being imposed on each bottle of wine.

Also in the Budget, it was announced that there will be €10 per month cut in children's benefit for each child. That works out at for a family with two children, you guessed it, a child benefit cut of almost €252 in 2013.

As for the DIRT tax on savings, that has been 30 per cent since last year. And in yesterday's Budget, it was disclosed that it will be increased to 33 per cent.

The only change that has not been introduced as yet is the introduction of water tax. But that will come into being from 2014 and the early indications are that it will cost at least as much as €238.

The party launched the advertising campaign in the last week of the election when there were signs that Fine Gael might just get an overall majority and would not need to form a coalition with Labour.

Politically, the fact that all its warnings have come, or will come, to pass will prove an acute embarrassment for the party.

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