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Sinn Féin’s July stimulus claims do not stack up – Carroll MacNeill

24th July 2020 - Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD

WITH no practical solutions of their own to offer, Sinn Féin have made a series of false claims about the stimulus package, for their own politics, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill said the Government initiative is the country’s biggest ever cash stimulus plan.

“People are working hard this morning to apply the stimulus package to their own situation. As opposed to working with that and offering viable solutions, Sinn Féin immediately attempt to sell false stories and discredit plans to get our businesses and people back on their feet and working. But it doesn’t help anyone get a job, keep a job or keep their hardworking business going today.

“Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty have made a series of false claims. Let’s examine some of their five big false claims they have already made,” Deputy Carroll MacNeill said. 

  1. Nothing for low paid – False.

Everyone who pays income tax benefits from the VAT cut and Stay and Spend initiative. This stimulus will help get people get back to work in sectors like retail and hospitality.

  1. Nothing for man in the van – False

There will be a new income tax relief for self-employed individuals who were profitable in 2019 but, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, incur losses in 2020.

  1. Favours loans over grants – False

€2bn loans vs €3bn in direct supports for businesses.

The financial supports include €1.9bn in wage subsidies to help employers keep trading through this difficulty period and €600m in rates waivers.

The Restart Grant Fund has been so successful to date, 42,000 businesses have applied and €128m in grants of up to €10,000 to help with reopening been paid out. This has been increased to €25,000 from a total pot of €550m.

  1. Better deal in the North – False

The wage subsidy scheme expires in October in the North and the unemployed there have only got £94.25 a week compared to €350 here. This is Sinn Féin fantasy economics.

  1. Stimulus isn’t big enough – False

There is €7.4bn in this plan including tax, expenditure and credit supports.

The Government has responded to the pandemic by borrowing heavily to support Irish people and businesses affected – under current plans we will borrow around €30 billion to stimulate the economy this year.

The Government is also reconfirming our plans to grow infrastructure expenditure next year by €1bn, or 12%, to over €9bn.

Deputy Carroll MacNeill said, “So even looking at the headline claims of Sinn Féin’s leadership, this does not stack up. But when ever do Sinn Féin claims?

“The work done by key Government departments on this will stand the test of time. Fine Gael have led this country out of one recession less than ten years ago. And we’ll do it again,” Deputy Carroll MacNeill said.

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