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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# fighting words
'Fine Gael don't care too much about ordinary people'
Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath had some strong words for the government today.

Updated 4.55pm

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FIANNA FÁIL FINANCE spokesperson Micheal McGrath has launched a scathing attack on Fine Gael, claiming the party only cares about looking after the well-off.

Speaking to today, McGrath said he believed Fine Gael’s “driving ideology” was to look after the better-off in society.

That’s, in essence, what they stand for and I don’t think they care too much about ordinary people, that’s my own view.

He was speaking after launching Fianna Fáil’s pre-budget submission where the party outlined plans to deliver cuts to the USC that would benefit the majority of taxpayers by €293 annually, irrespective of their income.

McGrath said his party was proposing a much fairer tax cut than the government introduced last year where higher earner benefitted up to fives times more than low and middle-income earners.

He also suggested that if current economic growth continues the Universal Social Charge (USC) could be abolished entirely within 6 to 8 years:

Quinton O'Reilly /

Acknowledging a recent poll finding that most people do not trust Fianna Fáil to run the economy again, McGrath said his party was adopting a cautious approach in its budget proposals in recent years.

In doing this, he said that Fianna Fáil is recognising mistakes of the past which are “deeply ingrained in my psyche and I believe in the party’s psyche”. But he added:

“I think people don’t trust politicians or political parties in general and that’s a problem we have and it’s a problem that the body politic has created.

But I accept that it is a particular issue for us to convince people that we can responsibly manage the economy into the future and it’s principally my job of work, as finance spokesperson, to convince people we can do it.

McGrath also insisted that the Fianna Fáil policy to abolish Irish Water and water charges is a red line issue in any future coalition negotiations:

Quinton O'Reilly /

There will be more from our wide-ranging interview with Micheal McGrath on this weekend

Read: “Lucky general” Michael Noonan taking credit for Brian Lenihan’s plan – FF

Read: An awful lot of you want USC abolished altogether

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