Sinn Féin are still avoiding scrutiny in relation to their stance on the upcoming Budget, a Fine Gael Minister has said.
Minster Peter Burke was speaking from the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska where, during a debate for the Indo Daily podcast, Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy avoided answering when Sinn Féin will publish its alternative Budget.
Minister Burke said, “Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald is on record as saying her party would publish its alternative Budget in full last Friday. There was no sign of it, we are still waiting, and now Sinn Féin reps are avoiding questions on the matter as evidenced during my debate with Matt Carthy TD, today at the Ploughing Championships.
“It is clear what Sinn Féin are at here, as they wait to see which way the wind blows and attempt to avoid proper scrutiny as usual. They are trying to hold out for the publication of the Government’s Budget, when the focus will be off opposition parties, allowing them their usual tactic of simply criticising everything and offering no concrete solutions.
“As the main Opposition Party Sinn Féin should have the courage of its convictions to publish its alternative Budget for the public to see, as the party leader promised to do.
“Despite demanding an early Budget this year, it’s remarkable that Sinn Féin doesn’t seem to have its own Budget proposal ready. As usual it’s all talk from Sinn Féin. How could a party with no solutions, that simply trades in populist rhetoric be trusted with Government?
“We already know Sinn Féin is a high tax party and want to increase income taxes on hard-pressed middle-income families. Sinn Féin is anti-jobs and business and wants to increase employers’ PRSI making it harder for businesses to thrive and employ more. Mary Lou McDonald wants to make it more expensive to retain jobs, let alone create new ones.
“They want to lower the threshold on inheritances and raise taxes on the same people who have worked all their lives to provide for their families. They had a ridiculous proposal to increase jobseekers’ allowance by €50 a week when employers are desperately seeking workers.
“Sinn Féin are hypocritical and dishonest and will wreck our economy,” Minister Burke said.
The Midlands Minister said in comparison to Sinn Féin, Fine Gael is on your side and wants to put more money back in the pockets of all families who are struggling with the cost of living.
“That is why it is important we have both targeted and universal payments to put more money back in people’s pockets.
“We will support pensioners, carers and the most vulnerable. We will help those on disability allowance, lone parents’ allowance and all who rely on social welfare who are being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.
“And we will support families who are working hard and contributing with their taxes, but are struggling with childcare fees, energy bills and their mortgage or rent.
“Fine Gael will always stand up for the squeezed middle who pay their taxes and often get little in return.
“Sinn Féin on the other hand cannot be trusted with the economy and are continuing to avoid scrutiny of their policies.”