Labour urged to distance itself from budget tax cut promises
Joan Collins asks Tánaiste to prioritise reversal of social welfare cutbacks
Independent TD Joan Collins has urged Labour to distance itself from Government promises of tax cuts in next month’s budget. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
She told the Dáil today she was sure that Tánaiste Joan Burton, as Labour leader, would have nothing to do with such cynicism. It amounted to using the people’s money to buy an election, she said.
“These are the policies of Fianna Fáil which this Government promised to banish,’’ Ms Collins added. She sought a commitment from Ms Burton that that the Government would prioritise the reversal of cuts to social services and welfare payments over any consideration of tax cuts.
Ms Burton, who was taking Opposition leaders’ questions, said she already published with the Taoiseach three commitments which were important in the context of the budget. These included a budget of €42 million for the payment on a quarterly basis of €100 to people receiving the household benefit package.
She added that it covered 410,00 households and included retired people, carers and people on disability and those receiving domiciliary care allowance for children
Free travels would also continue for pensioners and there would be additional measures to support families with children who were on social welfare and provide incentives to take up employment when it was available, she said.
Ms Burton said that the CSO (Central Statistics Office) figures, published earlier today, showed that the economy was seriously in recovery. “The figures are quite striking,’’ she added.