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Labour's alternate Budget: No income tax credits on €100k+ incomes and raising levy on the banks

Opposition parties were out outlining their Budget 2020 proposals today.

File photo. Joan Burton said
File photo. Joan Burton said
Image: RollingNews.ie

THE LABOUR PARTY has proposed withdrawing income tax credits on incomes over €100,000 in its alternative Budget 2020.

Speaking today, finance spokesperson Joan Burton said that “high net worth individuals are often not paying their fair share” in outlining Labour’s proposals which also included raising the levy on banks to raise an extra €250 million from the sector.

This would go “some way to [the banks] paying their debts to the Irish public,” she said.

Elsewhere in Labour plans, the party proposes a €5 week increase to all social welfare payments as well as reducing public transport fares by 10%.

Burton said: “To give every child a fair start in life, we’d ensure primary education is genuinely free-of-charge. That means free schoolbooks, a universal grant for uniforms, and hot school meals.”

Labour’s plans would also disregard the blind welfare allowance for means tested social welfare payments to end “discrimination” against people in receipt of the payment. 

All civil and public servants would be paid at least a living wage of €12.30 an hour while income tax relief for trade union subscriptions would be restored.

Burton added that Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is aiming for too high a surplus in this year’s Budget and that investing more in public services now is essential with “Brexit a major threat to the economy, combined with the crises in healthcare and housing”. 

Separately today, the Green Party proposed a free public transport scheme for students as part of a €475 million investment in sustainable transport options in its alternate Budget 2020.

The Greens also suggested raising carbon tax by €20 per tonne in the next year, higher than the expected €5-10 from the government’s Budget.

The party also wants to create a €300 million fund for the provision of cost rental housing, and invest €200 million for a major retrofit programme.

GREEN 123_90581679 (l to r): Green Party's Catherine Martin, Neasa Hourigan and Eamon Ryan Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Its finance spokesperson Neasa Hourigan said: “Following almost a decade of inaction on climate change by this government we now have ten years until 2030 to remake our economic strategy to that of a circular economy, one that places quality of life and the welfare of the most vulnerable in society at its forefront. 

We propose a €1.1 billion investment in a low carbon economy as a first step in a longer-term package to effect change. It is our children’s generation that will experience the cost of our current inaction and political inertia, particularly in housing and transport.

Minister Paschal Donohoe will announce Budget 2020 this Tuesday afternoon in the Dáil.

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Sean Murray

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