Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

McGrath, Michael

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Budget Statement 2013

On a point of order, this is unprecedented. While I do not wish to interrupt the Minister in his budget speech, ten minutes into that speech-----More Button

-----the budget documentation has not been circulated to the Opposition.More Button

It is unprecedented and I ask the Minister-----More Button

-----to pause until the budget documentation is circulated to Members.More Button

It is unprecedented.More Button

This is unprecedented and is a disgrace.More Button

Budget Statement 2013 (Continued)

Come on.More Button

With the agreement of the House, I will share 30 minutes of my time with Deputy Seán Fleming.

  We are all agreed that the Irish people have made enormous sacrifices in recent ye...More Button

Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle.More Button

Of all the things people want from their politicians at this time of crisis, the most wanted are honesty and leadership and for us to ensure the decisions made are fair. I wanted the Government ...More Button

I hoped the Government, in preparing today's budget, had learnt a lesson from last year when the Minister introduced the first regressive budget since the crisis began in 2008, a budget that hit ...More Button

The Government has introduced a budget that is shaped more by the respective party political needs of Fine Gael and Labour than the national interest. The deep divisions between Fine Gael and th...More Button

All of this begs the question, who was looking after everyone else in the middle. Families who do not qualify for a medical card now have to make a drugs payment of €144 per month. In the budget ...More Button

The price Fine Gael wanted to extract in return for considering even a modest increase in tax for those earning more than €100,000 was to cut the most basic welfare payments.More Button

Fine Gael used the basic welfare payment of €188 per week as a negotiating chip to protect those earning more than €100,000 per year.More Button

The Government has increased the universal social charge for pensioners over 70 years of age by 3%, but it cannot increase the tax on those earning enormous sums of money.More Button

In the face of this resistance from Fine Gael, the Labour Party capitulated and accepted the symbolic fig leaf of a so-called mansion tax that will affect a small number of people and bring in litt...More Button

Principles that were articulated in opposition are forgotten around the table of power.

  Fianna Fáil believes the Minister had some scope to increase the direct taxation burden ...More Button

This will be seen for what it is, an increase in income tax through the back door, and it will fool no one. The promise not to increase income tax has been broken by default today.More Button

This change is designed to have the greatest impact on low and middle income families. For example, a worker earning €20,000 will pay €264 per annum while it will cost a worker earning €200,000 ...More Button

This proposal will bring in €300 million in a full year. Behind the property tax, it is the second largest revenue generating item in this budget.More Button

Today the Government has targeted families with children, who need their car to go to work and who have made sacrifices to provide a home. A family on low to middle income, with three children, ...More Button

That impact is irrespective of income: it is not income sensitive. The example I gave is the same for a couple on €20,000 as for a couple on €200,000. It does not matter. The property tax, the...More Button

Before last year's election, the Labour Party said it would not agree to cuts in child benefit, that it was a red line issue for the party. Families were told child benefit would be safe under L...More Button

There will be an attempt to say this budget was dictated by the troika, that the cuts and tax increases were decided in Brussels and Berlin. This budget, like last year's budget, was decided in ...More Button

Let us look at the record of this Government. It has cut home help services from elderly citizens while protecting bankers' pay and pensions. It has cut special needs assistants from special sc...More Button

The centrepiece of the tax package is a new tax on the family home. Thousands of families and individuals will simply be unable to pay the property tax. The Government did not raise the possibi...More Button

The Minister should have told the troika there is no question of introducing a family home tax against a backdrop of a mortgage arrears crisis that is out of control. The Minister has the perfect ...More Button

Where is the legislation underpinning this property tax? We were promised we would have the legislation for this debate but we do not have it. Where is the Thornhill report? It has been knocki...More Button

This tax will be hardest felt by families in low to middle income brackets and by those dependent on welfare. We believe this is the wrong tax at the wrong time. According to the last official ...More Button

How many Ministers even have a mortgage on the family home?More Button

The Minister said the exemptions are largely based on the exemptions to the household charge, which are exceptionally narrow in nature. The Minister failed to point out, however, that those on m...More Button

All of that is without even mentioning the buy to let mortgage book, which is in a complete mess, as the Minister well knows.More Button

We know that three out of ten of them are in arrears of 90 days or more. They will need to pay the non-principal private residence charge next year but the NPPR will then be abolished from 2014 on...More Button

They have a legitimate case to make, but that is not being taken into account.More Button

We have an unemployment rate of almost 15%. An Irish League of Credit Unions survey showed that 1.8 million people live in households that have less than €100 on which to live after essential bi...More Button

For many older people this will become a tax from beyond the grave - a tax on a home they have spent an entire lifetime to secure. On their death, instead of being safe in the knowledge that the h...More Button

I have serious concerns about how the self-assessment system will work. How are people to know what their property is worth today? What will the penalties be if they get it wrong? The Minister...More Button

-----some 1.6 million households are potentially liable for the household charge. The Department of Finance document states that the Revenue believes there could be up to 1.9 million households li...More Button

Will the banks be liable to the property tax for properties they have repossessed from families? Why is the Minister excluding sites that are zoned for residential development, which would have ...More Button

How much additional revenue will this yield? It is clear from the budget documentation that up to the €1 million threshold they are only liable to 0.18% and the 0.25% rate only applies to the exce...More Button

The expected yield from this along with the money in respect of the 3% on pensioners, which is approximately €38 million in a full year, should be compared with what would have been achieved if the...More Button

The Minister has extended carbon tax to solid fuel, a measure that will hit many of the poorest households that rely on coal and turf for basic heating. Some of these people have installed stove...More Button

Our budget submission called on the Minister to build the budget around certain priorities. The priorities we suggested were the areas of education, mental health and disabilities. Considering ...More Button

It is fine for the Minister to shake his head. We will find out in coming weeks when cuts affect service providers such as COPE Foundation, Jack & Jill Foundation and the Brothers of Charity Servi...More Button

The Minister can offer a commitment today that they will not be cut and put it to bed. Will they be cut or not?More Button

The Minister will not answer the question. That is the bottom line.More Button

Buried in the depths of the expenditure reductions is a €325 per annum cut in the respite care grant from €1,700 to €1,375. That is a cruel cut and there is no need for it to be implemented. My G...More Button

At the conclusion of my budget speech last year, I made the point that I have repeated since that the fairest way to measure the Government's performance on the economy is by measuring how succes...More Button

We all accept that it would have gone up far more but for the safety valve of emigration. A total of 87,000 people, mainly young people, left our shores in the 12 months to April 2012. When the M...More Button

The most alarming aspect of this is the dramatic increase in the number of people who are long-term unemployed. A total of 60% of people out of work are now long-term unemployed. What are we do...More Button

The Minister said the economy would grow by 2.5% in real terms in 2012. He now says it will grow by 0.9%. He said it would grow by 3% next year but has now halved that and says it will grow by ...More Button

I had hoped and half-expected that the Minister would pull a rabbit out of the hat today in respect of the promissory note and bank debt. I am, sadly, disappointed. I wish him well in his ongoi...More Button

This budget day is one which many ordinary families have been dreading. They are looking to this House and Government for reassurance about their future. They want a Government that will lead the...More Button

Financial Resolution No. 2: Tobacco Products Tax

Are we speaking to Financial Resolutions Nos. 1 and 2?More Button

In respect of Financial Resolution No. 1, my party is disappointed that the Government has not addressed the issue of alcohol sales in the off-licence trade. We made a number of proposals in that ...More Button

As the Taoiseach will be aware, there has been a shift in sales from the on-licence trade to the off-licence trade in recent times and some of the promotions of alcohol in the off-licence trade a...More Button

I expected that today's budget would have involved some move on the below-cost selling of alcohol in the off-licence trade. As the Taoiseach will be aware, the multiples are the main culprits in...More Button

My party will oppose Financial Resolution No. 1, primarily on the grounds that the Minister for Finance has not addressed the issue of the blatant abuse of the sale of alcohol at enormous discoun...More Button

My leader wishes to speak on Financial Resolution No. 2 on which he has a track record.More Button