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Fine Gael focusing on cutting rising costs for middle-income workers

14th June 2022 - Fine Gael Press Office

Fine Gael is working to cut rising costs and increase supports for middle-income workers with the introduction of a Seanad motion on the Cost of Living and the Squeezed Middle this week.

The motion recognises the squeezed middle is paying a large proportion of income tax but earning too much to qualify for many State supports.

Leader of the Seanad Senator Regina Doherty said, “We will never apologise for standing up for middle-income workers and families. Thousands of people receive a decent wage on paper but don’t feel the benefit in their pockets.

“This motion sets out to make sure that those paying high rates of tax are not limited or left out when it comes to State benefits. We are proposing a new middle rate of 30% for people on middle incomes so that you wouldn’t get to that highest rate until you earn a little bit more. We also need more universal supports such as childcare, public transport and lower college fees to ensure no family ever has to choose between vital services.

“It’s crucial that we recognise the changes in costs faced by families across Ireland, whether it’s in their supermarket trolley or energy bill. While Government has provided €2.4 billion to households to help ease the burden, we also need to look ahead and ensure Budget 2023 specifically considers the squeezed middle and the challenges they face.”

Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Finance, Senator Maria Byrne added, “Fine Gael will continue to work for and support middle-income earners.

“This will be achieved by reducing costs such as healthcare and college by lowering the student contribution and increasing eligibility for grants. Improved universal childcare subsidies will also lessen the burden.

“It’s essential that we continue to help in terms of reducing bills for families in the squeezed middle. A good quality of life is at the heart of this motion.”

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