Michael D'Arcy has highlighted the significant differences in how people would have fared under this week’s budget and the alternative budget proposed by Fianna Fáil. Fine Gael cut the main rate of USC from 7% to 5.5% in Budget 2016 while Fianna Fáil refused to cut the main rate of USC in its alternative budget.
“This week’s budget gave more than 1 week’s wages back to all low and middle income earners. These people would have benefitted significantly less under Fianna Fáil.
“We are reducing the tax burden on Irish workers, because we implicitly understand that the sustainable reduction of our high taxes is good for our economy. Lower taxes support jobs and high taxes kill jobs. That’s a fact.
“Fianna Fáil does not grasp this concept and is wedded to the same high tax, high spend approach, by which they ruined our economy last time they were in government. It is no surprise that Fianna Fáil still does not have a plan for creating jobs.
“This week’s budget brought the marginal rate of tax for those earning less than €70,000 to under 50% for the first time since 2009. Fianna Fáil opposes the Government’s tax rate cuts and still wants a 51% rate of tax on low to middle income earners. As Fianna Fáil also opposed last year’s tax cuts, they must favour a 52% rate.
“While in opposition, Fianna Fáil have proposed raising USC rates – something the Government has steadfastly refused to do. Even with the economy recovering they still want to keep rates high. Their 2013 pre-budget submission would have taken the marginal rate of tax for the self-employed to an eye-watering 58%.
“Reducing the tax burden on working people and families generates more money to invest in services. Last year the Government reduced income tax and USC rates for low and middle income earners. But overall the tax take actually increased. Less tax on work means more jobs.”