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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020
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USC will not be abolished if Fianna Fáil enter government

The taxpayer was led to believe the USC was a temporary tax, imposed to see us through the dark days.

Micheál Martin said Fine Gael made false promises about scrapping the USC in the past.
Micheál Martin said Fine Gael made false promises about scrapping the USC in the past.
Image: Sam Boal

THE UNIVERSAL SOCIAL Charge will not be abolished if Fianna Fáil are successful in the next general election. 

The party leader Micheál Martin said that “false promises” were made in the last election by Fine Gael that they would abolish the USC.

“That was never going to happen because the money was never there to do that. And I said [that] to people on the doorstep,” he said. 

“It will not be abolished in the next five years either. Because if you want to do more in housing and if you want to deal with health and climate change” it will require increased expenditure, he said.

“We have to be honest with people,” he said. 

The USC was first mentioned back in 2010 in the wake of the crash. 

The then Minister for Finance, Fianna Fáil’s Brian Lenihan, replaced the income levy and health levy with the USC.

The taxpayer was led to believe it was an emergency, temporary tax, imposed to see us through the dark days.

download (5) The late Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan. Source: Rolllingnews.ie

In 2013, Fine Gael made some changes to it by raising the entry point, but many were left scratching their heads as to why the USC wasn’t scrapped.

Instead of getting rid of it, as was promised, the government has been tweaking the tax, with no sign of it being binned anytime soon.

Martin said it is important in the run up the election that the public are told the truth about what is achievable.

“What stunned me with the British election was both parties for promising billions and billions and billions… I mean, I think we’re hopefully going away from that in Ireland,” he said.

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