Thursday 21 September 2017

Fianna Fail claims it can get €100m in public cuts

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

FIANNA Fail is claiming it can deliver €100m more in public sector pay bill savings than it previously believed possible when it was in Government.

The party is using the figure to rule out social welfare cuts in its own version of the Budget.

Otherwise the party's budget plan closely follows that of the Government, with the same target of €3.8bn.

Fianna Fail also included a pledge to increase motor tax, to bring in a €100 household charge and to help lower-paid workers escape the universal social charge it created last year. It is Fianna Fail's first pre-budget plan in 15 years as it has been in Government for most of that time.

Finance spokesman Michael McGrath was asked why people should listen to Fianna Fail.

"Over time, I believe if we keep coming forward with very good, sensible ideas that are grounded in reality, I think that people will listen to us again," he said.

Fianna Fail accepts the Government's higher target of cutting 23,500 public sector jobs over the next four years but it rejects the Government's plan to up the higher rate of VAT by 2pc.

Irish Independent

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