Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has strongly criticised the alternative budget plans announced by Fianna Fáil and said they would threaten Ireland’s fragile economic recovery.
“Fianna Fáil’s pre-budget submission provides further evidence of why they are not fit to be trusted with our economic recovery. They are clearly still addicted to high taxes and spending and they don’t have a jobs policy or a plan for recovery.
“Given the economic havoc Fianna Fáil wreaked in Dublin Fingal and around the country, it is shocking that they don’t even have a jobs policy or a plan for Ireland’s economic recovery.
“Last year Fianna Fáil voted against our reductions on tax on work. This year, the Party still refuses to cut the USC which they introduced and which has been such a burden on Irish workers. We have reduced the amount of USC workers pay and have ensured that 410,000 people no longer pay the USC.
“Fine Gael has reduced taxation on work because it puts money back in people’s pockets. More jobs mean less tax for those working and more revenue to provide better services.
“This approach is working and the jobs figures prove it: over 125,000 jobs have been created since the launch of our Action Plan for Jobs in 2012. Almost 60,000 of those jobs have been created since 2014. Unemployment has fallen from over 15% to its current rate of 9.4%. We are on track to replace all the jobs Fianna Fáil lost, by 2018.
“In the Budget we will make careful and responsible decisions that strengthen and reinforce the economic recovery. I am hopeful that our budget for 2016 will include further reductions to the USC.
“Fianna Fáil’s pre-budget submission provides a timely reminder that it is not fit to oversee our fragile economic recovery. More to the point, their high tax and spend approach would endanger progress that we have made.
“Looking at Fianna Fáil’s wild spending plans, you would be forgiven for thinking it was still 2005. They criticised last month’s €27 billion capital programme, proposing that a number of additional or excessively expensive projects should be progressed. These projects would amount to €4.3 billion, with no account taken of what projects FF would remove from the capital plan. To avoid the mistakes of the past, Fine Gael will cap public spending growth at below the underlying growth rate of the economy.
“Our recovery is fragile and incomplete and there is much more to be done to secure it. Fianna Fáil ruined the economy before and, if given the chance, they will do it again.”