Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kelly calls on Howlin to rule out family tax

Responding to a statement from Minister Brendan Howlin in which the Minister said that he might not be able to deliver on pre election promises made to the Wexford electorate, Cllr Anthony Kelly has offered reasonable alternatives to extreme austerity. The Sinn Féin councillor has warned that the governments “Family Tax”; the Universal Social Charge, the Household Charge and proposed water charges, will have a detrimental effect on County Wexford if implemented in its entirety.

“I understand the difficult job that Minister Howlin is faced with,” Cllr Kelly said, “But that those not give him a free license to make reckless decisions that will impact on the future of this county and its people. Brendan Howlin and the Labour party made pre election promises to abolish the Universal Social Charge, and to oppose any flat rate property or water taxes. To abandon those promises now not only reveals a lack of accountability and trustworthiness, but also shows a dangerous lack of judgement by the Labour party.”

“We call these taxes the “Family Tax” because they target families. The targeting of families and the targeting of the 51% of the population who earn less than €34,000 per annum betrays a government that lacks any economic reasoning. It’s obvious that no economic recovery can happen when half the population are kept in the red.”

“Sinn Féin has always argued that there is a better way. Those who can afford to pay more must be made to do so. The French have recently proposed further taxes on their wealthiest citizens. They already pay a wealth tax there and it works very well. A similar tax would work in Ireland and should be adopted as a matter of urgency. Government salaries should be cut and a new third rate of tax of 48% should be placed on those earning income in excess of €100,000.”

“The serious reform of the quango network and the tax break system could provide revenue which could then be used to stimulate the economy and get people back to work. For example, we could begin a major programme of work on our nation’s schools. As it stands, the state pays around €29 million per annum renting prefab buildings to act as classrooms for our children. Let’s take people off the dole queues to build new schools. This would surely stand out as common sense to most people, yet it has not even been discussed in public by any member of the current government. I would ask Minister Howlin to rule out the Family Tax and to call on his government to implement more progressive measures immediately.”

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