Tuesday 25 October 2016

We won't let national debt overwhelm us again - Joan Burton

Published 06/02/2016 | 02:30

Labour leader Joan Burton
Labour leader Joan Burton

The Labour Party has pledged to radically accelerate the reduction of national debt if returned to government.

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Tánaiste Joan Burton said that prioritising debt reduction over the next few years will allow the Government to focus on areas such as education and heath in the long-term.

"My commitment is this: over the next five years, we will exceed our debt reduction targets. So that debt never again overwhelms us, as it did when Fianna Fáil were asleep at the wheel," she said.

Ms Burton made the remarks at the launch of the Labour campaign in the Bord Gáis Theatre in Dublin.

The party confirmed it is running 36 candidates - which is one fewer than the number of TDs returned in 2011.

Ms Burton said that under Labour, 110,000 social houses will be provided and that the party will deliver the smallest class sizes in the history of the State.

She also attacked Sinn Féin over its plan to introduce a third rate of income tax of 48pc on incomes over €100,000.

"Beware of Sinn Féin creeping into the night and raising taxes for those earning over €100,000 by a swingeing 6pc."

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin warned against voting for Fianna Fáil.

"The party that once apologised for its role in the economy now wants us to forget. We won't."

Irish Independent

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