Sinn Féin proposes 'fair tax' plan
Sinn Féin has published a set of budget proposals entitled Making the Right Choices which it says would achieve the same €3.5 billion adjustment sought by the Government “though fair taxes and savings”.
Designed to appeal to middle and lower-income voters, the party's proposals include increased taxation on higher earners and cuts in the pay of senior civil servants and members of the Dáil and Seanad.
It also proposes a 5 cent cut in the cost of petrol and diesel per litre and a social welfare amnesty.
Party finance spokesman Pearse Doherty TD said the Government could either push struggling families over the edge while protecting the wealthiest in society, or ensure a larger contribution from the wealthiest, while the most vulnerable sectors were protected.
“Budgets are about choices. Do you introduce a property tax that calls on struggling households to pay more or do you introduce a wealth tax that asks the most well-off to pay more?
“Do you cut child benefit or do you cut politicians’ and high paid civil servants’ wages? Do you protect tax reliefs for those who can afford to avail of them or do you reduce the cost of petrol and diesel for everyone?”
“Sinn Féin proposes new taxes of €2.758 billion and public spending savings of €1.044 billion. We include the tax carry-over of €220 million and our expenditure measures amount to €338.68 million.”
“On the tax side, we have concentrated on sections of society which we believe can afford to pay more. So we introduce a third rate of tax of 48 per cent on income in excess of €100,000.
“We propose a 1 per cent wealth tax on net wealth in excess of €1 million, excluding business assets, working farms, pension pots and 20 per cent of the family home.”
Proposed savings include charging the full cost of private care in public hospitals and increasing the use of generic drugs and phasing out the public subsidy of private schools.
The party also wants an emergency pay cap of €100,000 across the civil and public sector for three years.
It has suggested capping hospital consultant pay at €150,000 for three years and a cut in all Dáil and Seanad elected representatives’ pay, removing allowances for chairing committees and abolishing the ‘super junior minister’ payment.
Sinn Féin says its plan would remove 296,000 low-income workers from the Universal Social Charge net.
Main points of Sinn Féin's alternative budget
Budget adjustment: €3.5 billion
Proposed new expenditure:€338.68 million
New taxes after tax adjustments:€2.758 billion
Tax carry-over: €220 million
Savings €1.044 billion
(Tax and savings net of expenditure amount to €3.684 billion, which allows €184 million for partial year effect in 2013 and ensures a €3.5 billion adjustment)
Proposed new expenditure (€338.68million)
Protecting children’s rights (€163million)
Free schoolbooks for every child in the state - €45 million
Increase the earnings disregard by€16.50 to €146.50 per week for One Parent Payment - €32 million
Double to €70 million the budget for school meals and expand programme - €35 million
Increase the fuel season allowance by six weeks - €51million
Give families a break (€30.68million)
Reinstate 950,000 home help hours- €16.9 million
Restore the training and materials allowance for CE participants - €12.5million
Reduce the fee for non-GP-referral attendances at hospital A&Es by €10, bringing it down to €90- €1.28million
Staffing frontline services (€145 million)
Lift the recruitment embargo to hire 3,500 frontline staff - €145 million
New taxes after tax adjustments (€2.758 billion)