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Finance Bill 2014

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Finance Bill 2014

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Deputy Clare Daly

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Clare Daly

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Snippet Contents:

Budget 2015 may be characterised as a continuation of policies which have seen the Government operating like Robin Hood in reverse. The Minister continues to rob from the poor and from ordinary people to further enrich those at the top of Irish society. What could have been an opportunity to level the playing field and begin to eat into some of the rising inequality we have seen in recent years - an inequality that accelerated during this Government's term of office - was wasted. Instead the decision was taken to enrich those at the top to the detriment of everybody else. Not only is this bad for citizens on social welfare and the growing group made up of the working poor, it is also criminally irresponsible in terms of the cost to our society into the future.
I agree with the analysis of the budget put forward by John Douglas of Mandate. It is, he said, a highly regressive budget which redistributes wealth from the lowest-paid to the highest-paid earners. An employee earning €70,000 will be better off, thanks to this Government, to the tune of €750 per year. A low-paid worker on €15,000, meanwhile, has been compensated by only €105. It should be noted that these figures do not take account of the introduction of water charges. Social Justice Ireland has pointed out that this is the fourth regressive budget in a row and one which further widens the gap between rich and poor by some €500 per year. Between 2008 and 2015, SJI observes, budget changes in tax and social welfare have impacted mostly on two groups. These are welfare dependent households, which have lost more than 12% of their income, and, second, the working poor, who have lost 13% of their income. This budget failed to prioritise those groups and will instead worsen their situation.
Correspondence I received from two constituents is reflective of what people in these circumstances are experiencing. One of these constituents is a woman, aged 47 and with two children, who spends more than 50% of her income on rent. She wrote: Next year this person will have to pay water charges on top of everything else, all out of a monthly net income of €500 between three people. She goes on to say: Another woman wrote: