Business group slammed on tax calls
One of the country's most senior union leaders has accused business lobbyists of trying to inflict more pain on the less well off after they called for no new taxes in the Budget.
Jack O'Connor, general president of Siptu, hit out at Ibec and demanded that the biggest earners should contribute one billion euro in tax in 2014 and 2015.
The employers' and business confederation had said the Budget should be used to send a signal that the end of austerity is in sight by dropping plans for 500 million euro of tax hikes.
Mr O'Connor said the group's submission was "a wolf in sheep's clothing".
"This is nothing more than a thinly camouflaged attempt to insulate the better off from tax commitments that are already scheduled, while inflicting more misery on the less well off," he said.
"Ibec is right in one respect, it is time to ease off on austerity. However, it is also time for the rich to contribute something."
Figures released last month showed Ireland officially dipped back into recession after the Government's export-led recovery took a hammering.
The Government will announce spending cuts and tax adjustments to the tune of 3.1 billion euro for the 2014 Budget on October 15.
In its pre-Budget submission, Ibec urged the Cabinet to introduce new measures to rebuild consumer confidence, support job creation and encourage spending in the domestic economy.
But Mr O'Connor said there should be no change on commitments that tax relief on pension contributions would be limited in order to build pensions of up to 60,000 euro a year. He said it would bring in 250 million euro a year.