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Fianna Fáil: Sinn Féin's budget would cut pay for teachers, gardaí and nurses

But Sinn Féin says that Fianna Fáil’s budget proposals are not costed.

"Check those figures there, Michael," Dara Calleary probably didn't say.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL HAS claimed that Sinn Féin’s pre-Budget submission, if adopted, would mean an effective two per cent pay cut for some nurses, teachers and gardaí.

Launching the party’s own pre-Budget submission today, Fianna Fail’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath attacked Sinn Féin for proposing to standardise pension tax relief.

He explained: “For a guard or a teacher or a nurse earning €50,000, paying about 10 per cent of their income towards their pension – by way of a pension contribution and a pension levy – if you reduce the rate of relief from 41 per cent to 20 per cent you’re taking a thousand euro a year out of their pocket.

“That’s a two per cent pay cut.  So let’s call it what it is and that’s what they are proposing, that you would actually increase income tax for very low and middle income earners.”

However Sinn Féin claims that Fianna Fáil’s budget proposals are not costed and has pointed out that proposals to tax food products with high sugar and salt content would “disproportionately target low and middle income workers”.

In a statement Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said: “Fianna Fáil’s budget alternative is uncosted. It’s not acceptable in 2013 that any party would produce a budget with so many uncosted measures.

He added: “Some €400 million of tax measures are guess work and estimates from Fianna Fáil while none of their savings measures are costed.”

Fianna Fáil’s public expenditure and reform spokesperson Seán Fleming also took issue with Sinn Féin proposals to increase taxes on inheritance which he claimed would mean a person would pay €20,000 more on an inheritance of €300,000.

McGrath said that Sinn Féin has removed the wealth tax from its pre-Budget proposals “because they know it doesn’t add up”.

Sinn Féin has included a wealth tax in its proposal though not in its actual Budget adjustment figure.

McGrath added: “We are remaining consistent and for them to come out and say that they’re against austerity [when] they’ve published an austerity package of over €2.4 billion, that’s a load of nonsense.”

Asked if the Fianna Fáil, having published its own document proposing a €2.4 billion adjustment, is ‘pro-austerity’, McGrath responded: “We are for fiscal consolidation.”

Read: FF wants to raise USC on incomes over €100k and increase the price of cigarettes and wine

More: Sinn Féin wants a third rate of tax, a betting tax and to abolish the property tax

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Hugh O'Connell

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