Tax move decried as ‘shameful to legacy of our 1916 leaders’ by Independent TD

Move on corporate tax ‘appeased our EU masters’, and is ‘just the beginning’, says Nolan

The Government has "appeased our EU masters by selling out" and agreeing to the increase in corporation tax to 15 per cent according to Rural Independent TD Carol Nolan.

She claimed the State had sold out agriculture and fisheries and now had been “strong-armed into surrendering the jewel in the crown” of foreign direct investment policy”.

The Laois-Offaly TD said “it’s shameful to the legacy of our leaders of 1916 who fought for the freedom of this country” that the government is happy “to sell out every sector”.

She added that the 2.5 per cent rise in tax prompted by the OECD, was projected to cost the exchequer €2 billion but this was “just the beginning” because it had resulted in a loss of “any kind of meaningful sovereignty when it comes to determining the shape and form of our own taxation policy”.

Responding to the budget speeches of the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Ms Nolan accused the Government of “having the gall to try and sell this as a win-win for Ireland’s finances and for our international standing. It’s far from that.”

However, the Government got a more positive response from Regional Independent TD Sean Canney who was "delighted" to see the extension of the Help to Buy scheme for first time buyers.

He said a lot of people building a house had been concerned it might not continue because they had money sanctioned but not drawn down either due to not having builder on site or because the planning permission had been delayed.

‘So anti-rural’

Independent Rural TD Richard O’Donoghue accused the Government of being “the most robbing, thieving people and you’re so anti-rural”.

The Limerick TD said that for every €100 of petrol the suppliers gets €39.92 while the retailer gets €3.08 while the Government “gets a whopping €57”.

Rural people are burning twice the amount of fuel a city person is because of lack of transport, but the Government, “which is city led” invests the funding from fuel into infrastructure for cities, he said.

Independent TD Marian Harkin accused the Government of "ghosting" the agriculture sector in the budget. She said that for the industry "Budget 2022 is a non-event".

The Sligo-Leitrim TD said “agriculture is required to do most of the heavy lifting” on climate change but she pointed to a statement by Macra na Feirme that the Government has told farmers “they should go gaming rather than farming” in reference to an initiative on tax relief for those creating interactive games.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice referred to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe's comments about climate change and that the world "is burning".

The Roscommon-Galway TD said “he must be living in a different kind of world than I am because “instead of burning they will perish to death” in the winter through fuel costs and the carbon tax increase.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is a parliamentary reporter with The Irish Times