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Sinn Féin proposals are anti-jobs and anti-business – Ahearn

8th August 2022 - Senator Garret Ahearn

Sinn Féin’s latest proposals are anti-jobs and anti-business, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Garret Ahearn, member of the Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, was responding to media reporting of the Sinn Féin submission to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare.

Senator Ahearn said, “Small businesses all across the country are just getting back on their feet after a couple of very tough years. Fine Gael in Government has been working to help small and medium businesses through this really challenging period, with grants when they were closed and to help them get back on their feet when they reopened, wage subsides to help them pay their staff and commercial rates waivers to take the pressure off when things were at their worst.

“Sinn Féin on the other hand, want to cripple small businesses by increasing employers’ PRSI until it reaches over 22%; that’s double the current rate.

“Another worrying proposal in the Sinn Féin submission, as reported, is their proposal on the Job Seekers’ Allowance. It’s a testament to the resilience and hard-work of thousands of businesses and their staff across the country that we are now at record levels of employment – the highest in the history of the state. Now is not the time to increase the Job Seekers’ Allowance by €200 a month. Many sectors of the economy are struggling with staff shortages, particularly hospitality and tourism businesses. This Sinn Féin proposal would make it much harder for them to hire staff. It is blatant populism.

“Nonsensical and populist economics are par for the course for Sinn Féin. They failed to account for €3.25bn in their last alternative budget.

“Fine Gael is working to reduce the cost of living in sustainable ways that won’t have unintended consequences for us all. We are introducing both targeted and universal measures.

“We are putting more of your money back in your pocket, reducing income tax to make sure your work pays better. We are also:

  • reducing the cost of childcare for all families;
  • reducing student fees and providing more student grants to help with the cost of college;
  • building more homes (social, private, cost rental and affordable purchase) ensuring lower rents and giving first time buyers saving for their deposit a grant of up to €30,000;
  • helping with the cost of petrol and diesel by keeping excise low and cutting train and bus fares permanently;
  • increasing payments for pensioners, carers, people with disabilities and the vulnerable;
  • giving more people free GP care and lowering the cost of medicines.

“This morning I met with Tipperary Chamber of Commerce and heard first-hand the challenges out there for businesses at the moment.

“Fine Gael is focused on doing all we can to help families while also protecting our economy to support jobs and businesses. Sinn Féin on the other hand have made very few concrete proposals on the cost of living, but these latest ideas are simply anti-jobs and anti-business.”


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