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Financial Resolutions 2013

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Budget Statement 2013

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Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett

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Snippet Contents:

I wish I could say otherwise but today is another day of shame for this Government. It is not a day of hard choices, as it kept repeating. It is a day of cruel choices inflicted by those who are protecting the privileged and the powerful on those who are struggling and in despair. It is a day when it has driven tens of thousands of families who were teetering on the edge of poverty into poverty. It is a day when it has hammered a few more nails into the coffin of the battered Irish economy.
I say to the Tánaiste that this Government had a choice. A few simple measures could have done away with the need for all the suffering it has inflicted on ordinary families today. If it had simply enforced, as we suggested, the 12.5% corporation tax rate and increased in a significant way the taxes on those earning in excess of €100,000 a year, as 88% of the population now want it to do, it could have done away with the need for all this suffering and despair and all those families being driven into poverty.
If the Government had done that not only could it have prevented these vicious cuts but it would have had the resources to reverse some of the most vicious cuts imposed in recent years. It could have abolished the universal social charge for those on average incomes. It could have lifted the special needs assistant, SNA, caps that have caused such suffering to some of the most vulnerable families. It could have reinstated the Christmas bonus for social welfare recipients and for pensioners. It could have reinstated the home help hours for the elderly and the disabled. It could have reversed the increases in registration fees and the cuts in grants for students and many more of the nasty cuts that have been imposed in the past two years. To do all of that would have cost approximately €3 billion. Those measures alone would have been covered just by making the corporations that made €70 billion in pre-tax profits last year pay a little more tax, and all that suffering could have been avoided.