Labour pledges to abolish USC on income up to €72,000
Party says it would also cap the amount charged for childcare at €4.25 an hour
Tánaiste Joan Burton with Abi Boxshall (2) at the launch of Labour’s ‘Standing Up For Families’ campaign in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
The Labour Party in Government would eliminate the Universal Social Charge on the first €72,000 of income, reduce primary-school class sizes to 20 and greatly reduce the cost of child-care, Tánaiste Joan Burton said yesterday.
Speaking an event to announce the party’s “Standing Up for Working Families” campaign, Ms Burton described the USC as a “penal” form of taxation. She said if the economy continued to grow it would be possible to get rid of the charge on all incomes up to €72,000, which would see workers gain up to €60 a week, she said.
“We will do this progressively and in a way that helps everyone except those on the highest incomes. . . We can afford to do this because we’ve ensured the economy is in a much better state than when we took over from Fianna Fáil. We are basing our plans on the forecasts from the Department of Finance. ”
John Lyons, TD said the party would put an end to class sizes of 30 or more.
“Labour will continue to cut class sizes to an historic low, reaching an average class of 20 pupils,” he said.
“Labour in Government has reduced by 40 per cent the amount spent on renting prefabs in schools . . . We will end the use of prefabs by 2021 and make sure that every child in school is safe and warm.”
Councillor Pamela Kearns, of South Dublin County Council, and candidate in Dublin South West outlined the party’s plan for childcare, saying parents would be able to access subsidised childcare for all children under the age of 12.
Childcare providers, who would have to registered and fully complaint with regulations, would be subsidised by Government to make up the shortfall.
She said this was “doable” but said Labour would have to get the a strong mandate in the election to be able to deliver this. “As someone who has worked for many years in childcare, as a mother and as a member of the Labour Party I am delighted with this plan,” she said.
Ms Burton said the last five years had been “tough for working families”.
“The next five years will be much better but only if we have a stable and balanced Government implementing responsible economic policies.”