Suspend Budget and have an election -- O Caolain
SINN FEIN last night refused to accept the four-year plan and claimed that economic recovery could be sparked by widespread tax increases, rather than spending cuts.
The party's Dail leader, Caoimhghin O Caolain, said the Government's proposal was "a plan for national recession, rather than national recovery".
He said: "This is a savage plan that will force the Irish people to pay for the economic treason of this Fianna Fail-Green Party Government and it is the least well off who will have to bear the greatest burden.
"Make no mistake about it, low- to middle-income families are going to have to face further cuts in terms of social welfare supports, pay cuts, water charges and now also a flat-rate home tax."
Mr O Caolain claimed that Sinn Fein's own policy document, 'A Fairer Way', contained measures that would save billions of euro.
The document envisages €5bn of savings next year -- but €4bn is made up by a raft of taxes, such as a wealth tax, a 48pc tax for high earners and the abolition of the PRSI ceiling, amongst others.
Mr O Caolain said the Government should suspend the Budget and call an immediate election.
He said: "Let the people have the opportunity to assess the positions of each of the political parties and then let the people make their decisions in returning a government that will have a mandate."