Sinn Féin’s uncosted proposals would leave middle income earners worse off, Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins has said.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said Mary Lou McDonald is turning more frequently than a wild weathervane in a storm with their uncosted policies and motions that lack credibility.
Deputy Higgins said: “For months now, Sinn Féin’s constant flip-flopping and ‘show motions’ on the topic of the cost of living have only served to mislead the public.
“Fine Gael have assisted households and businesses with a range of measures worth €2.4 billion to help households offset inflation and the rising cost of living. Ahead of September’s Budget, Fine Gael wants to put more money back in your pocket and reduce the cost of living for you and your family in any way we can.
“Sinn Féin however are simply calling for everything under the sun and costing none of it. If you look closer, we can see workers and businesses would be worse off under Sinn Féin’s proposals. In the last Budget, they wanted 14 separate uncosted tax increases amounting to €1.5 billion. Sinn Féin also failed to produce any tax package that would result in people keeping more of their hard-earned income.
“Increasing taxes and failing to adjust income tax for inflation in this Budget would mean that workers would end up paying more tax and have less money in their pockets.
“One week, Sinn Féin are demanding the Government focus on targeted measures for just one cohort and criticising universal measures that would help everyone cope with the cost of living increases, the next week their policy shifts to a wider audience
“Sinn Féin are like a wild weathervane in a storm. They twist and turn in every possible direction whichever way the wind is blowing.
“Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has committed to ensuring that Budget 2023 will include universal measures to help everyone, because everyone is feeling the squeeze. There will also be targeted measures that will help those that are suffering the most.
“It is also Fine Gael’s priority to reduce income tax to make sure your work pays better and that you keep more of your hard-earned pay rise. That can be done through the introduction of a 30% middle rate or by increasing the standard rate cut-off point, and these options are currently under consideration in advance of Budget Day.
“On the other hand, Sinn Féin wanted to deliver just a once off cost-of-living payment of €200 for every adult with an income less than €30,000 and €100 for every adult with an income between €30,000 and €60,000.
“Indeed, the average two income couple both working full time pays €800 a year less in income than they would if Sinn Féin had been in charge of the last Budget.
“Fine Gael is determined to help people with the cost of living and ensure their hard work pays better. We believe putting more money back in people’s pockets must be one of the priorities of this year’s Budget,” Deputy Higgins concluded.