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'I understand economics', says Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has insisted that his party is pro-enterprise, saying he "understands economics".

Mr Adams (inset) rejected suggestions that his party's tax policies were anti-business. The party has argued for a third rate of tax of 48pc on income earned over €100,000, and increases in capital gains tax and capital acquisitions tax.

"They're not anti-enterprise at all, they are about getting a fair tax system. We don't have a fair tax system, and a fair tax system will benefit citizens, will gather revenue to be used on behalf of citizens and will also assist business," Mr Adams said.

"I understand economics. I understand that the economy should work for the citizens. I understand that we need a strong economy in order that we would have the public services to deal with the crisis in health, to deal with the homelessness crisis, that we would get people back to work, that we would get people back to education". Mr Adams said the party will reveal an alternative budget - costed by the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure - in the next two weeks.

Sinn Féin's economic policies are a frequent target for rival political parties. Last year, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the party's alternative budget was "a good way to close down the country".

Mr Adams's call for a rise in capital gains tax contradicts entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, who have argued that the current rate of 33pc is a disincentive to starting a business in this country.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has lobbied for a significant cut in the rate.

Irish Independent