Friday 28 November 2014

ULA sets out alternative budget

Published 30/11/2012 | 17:14

United Left Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett, second left, launches the alternative budget with colleagues at Buswell's Hotel in Dublin

An alternative budget for the Government aimed at protecting families struggling to survive has been published by left-wing TDs.

The United Left Alliance (ULA) said those who are responsible for the economic crisis should pay for it instead of the ordinary working people of Ireland who are the victims.

Richard Boyd Barrett said its pre-Budget statement will nail the Government lie that there is no alternative to continuously bailing out bankers and speculators and paying for it with endless and crippling austerity.

"The simple fact is that Government and Troika policies are crushing ordinary citizens, working people, the unemployed and vulnerable sectors of our society and strangling our economy," he said.

"If the Government moves ahead with the home tax and further austerity measures next Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of families will be driven into poverty and our economy will be driven even further into a vicious downward spiral.

"There is an alternative, if we stop paying out billions to bondholders and interest on unsustainable debts that have been loaded on to the backs of ordinary Irish people."

The ULA wants to raise state funds by increasing income tax on the richest in society, introducing a wealth tax and a financial transaction tax, and imposing a minimum effective rate of 12.5% corporation tax, with a nominal rate of 15%.

It also proposes to write down the national debt to pre-crash levels and halt all debt-interest payments incurred as a consequence of the crash.

Elsewhere, TDs want to reverse almost three billion euro of cuts by abolishing the USC for those earning under 40,000 euro and halving it on wages under 70,000 euro.

They also called for the household tax to be abolished, home-help hours and special needs assistants to be reinstated, and a range of cuts to education and social welfare services to be reversed.

Press Association

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