Adams shows up economic weakness as he stumbles over tax policy figures
Published 08/03/2010 | 05:00
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams' weakness on economic policy was exposed again yesterday when he seemed to double the amount his own party said a new tax would bring in.
Contradicting his TDs' pre-budget proposals, Mr Adams said Sinn Fein's idea to introduce a tax on assets worth more than €1m, excluding farm land, "would bring in €3bn".
Sinn Fein vice-president Mary-Lou McDonald didn't know how much the taxation proposals Mr Adams outlined in his Ard Fheis speech would make either yesterday. But she did say it was included on Sinn Fein's website in its pre-budget proposals.
This document, entitled 'The Road To Recovery, Sinn Fein pre-budget 2010 submission', said the "1pc wealth tax" on assets would raise €1.6bn -- half of what Mr Adams said it would yield.
"By putting forward the third rate of tax for those earning more than €100,000, by putting forward a solidarity tax of 1pc on assets worth €1m, excluding farmland, that would bring in €3bn," Mr Adams said.
Mr Adams also appeared unsure on family homes being included under the solidarity tax.
"No, well, well in some cases, obviously, where people have properties," he said initially.
"Any asset that is over €1m, excluding working farm land, has to be, in our view, subject to this solidarity tax," he then said.
The stumble on his party's economic positions won't enhance Mr Adams' credibility on domestic policy, which was badly exposed before the 2007 General Election.
Meanwhile, Mr Adams said he did not agree with his brother Liam's decision to fight his extradition to Northern Ireland.
Liam Adams is facing 18 charges in connection with the alleged abuse of his daughter Aine Tyrell.
Despite Sinn Fein actively opposing extradition to the North for IRA suspects during the Troubles, Mr Adams claimed he didn't want to comment on this case.
But he then said he didn't agree with his brother's attempt to oppose extradition.
The Sinn Fein president said he had not spoken to his brother in two years, and described the ongoing controversy as "dreadful" and "difficult".