Labour plans €5 rise in social welfare costing €350m a year

Party plans to double bank levy and seeks to reduce unemployment to 4 per cent or less

Labour’s Joan Burton has said while the party will not increase taxes on ordinary workers, it will be providing for taxation increases amounting to about €400 million per year. File photograph: Collins Courts

Labour’s Joan Burton has said while the party will not increase taxes on ordinary workers, it will be providing for taxation increases amounting to about €400 million per year. File photograph: Collins Courts

 

The Labour Party says it will fund annual increases of €5 for social welfare payments and increase the bank levy as part of their economic policy.

The party’s finance spokeswoman Joan Burton said €600 million is allocated every year for tax cuts under Department of Finance projections.

Instead of using this fund for tax cuts, the party is proposing to use it to index increases for income tax and USC bands and credits at the rate of inflation.

The party has also pledged an annual social welfare increase with a minimum €5 extra per week every year.

This welfare payment increase will cost about €360 million.

The party says it will also aim to reduce unemployment to 4 per cent or less.

Ms Burton said while the party will not increase taxes on ordinary workers, it will be providing for taxation increases amounting to about €400 million per year.

Doubling bank levy

This will be done by doubling the bank levy by €250 million, withdrawal of tax credits for those earning more than €100,000, a minimum effective corporation tax rate, increases in stamp duty for commercial property, and carbon taxes.

“These are sustainable and achievable increases, the last government raised taxes by over €300 million in both of the last budgets,” Ms Burton said.

The party has said it will also provide €2 billion over five years for a “capital expenditure reserve to account for the disastrous management by Fine Gael of major projects”.

Under the Labour plans, there would be €8 billion of “unallocated current expenditure” and that would be used “for a negotiated public sector pay deal”.