The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD has said that Fianna Fáil’s failure to commit to abolishing the USC is further proof that the party has no real plan for the economy.
“It’s the same old Fianna Fáil. They ruined the economy through their policies in the 2000s, which built an unsustainable boom on the back of property and debt. Then, when the inevitable crash came and destroyed 300,000 jobs, they made it worse by heaping most of the burden of the adjustment onto taxes on work, which made recovery more difficult. 80% of the tax adjustment under Fianna Fáil came by way of taxes on work, including the hated Universal Social Charge.
“Now they are repeating the same mistakes. They have no real plan for the economy or job creation. Their proposals show that they have not learned the lesson that taxes on work kill jobs. They say they want to reform the USC, but they can’t commit to abolishing it.
“By contrast, on taking office we reversed the disastrous Fianna Fáil approach and committed not to increase job-killing income taxes and to move as early as possible to reduce them. We were able to keep this commitment, even in the most difficult years, and we made other pro-jobs changes such as the reduction in VAT on the tourist industry. We moved early to start implementing our Action Plan to build an economy on enterprise and exports, instead of property and debt.
“Now we have started the process of reducing FF’s tax hikes by reducing the USC and we have committed to abolishing it in the lifetime of the next government.
“Fine Gael has a long term plan to keep the recovery going. Our plan will deliver more new jobs, spread right across the country, jobs that pay more than welfare, where hard work is rewarded. The plan will also deliver affordable, sustainable improvements in services using the resources from growing employment.
“We are seeing economic progress across the country, with over 135,000 more people at work, but we cannot take for granted that stability and recovery will continue.
“Michael McGrath said today that Fianna Fáil have learned the lessons of past economic mistakes but can we really trust that they have? Can we trust them with our fragile recovery? The clear answer is no.
“Fianna Fáil failed in government and now they have failed in opposition. It’s the same old Fianna Fáil. They are a risk to recovery and have no real plan for this country’s future.”