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Fianna Fail calls for more taxes on higher earners, alcohol and junk food

<p>INCREASED taxes on high earners, alcohol and junk food should be imposed in the Budget, Fianna Fail has said.</p>

Employees taking in more than €100,000 should be hit with a 3pc hike in the Universal Social Charge (USC), the party proposed.

It also urged a 10pc levy on alcohol sales from off-licences and a tax on fatty and sugary food and drink.

The proposals, which form part of the FF’s pre-Budget submission, would raise more than €400m for the Exchequer, it is estimated.

FF also says it is the wrong time to introduce a property tax and has put forward measures to help homeowners in negative equity including the extension of mortgage interest relief for first time buyers for another year.

The document -- A Fairer Way to Recovery -- claims it would meet the Government’s own target of a €3.5bn Budget adjustment.

The party’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath said education, mental health and disability services be fully protected.

Mr McGrath said enterprise is at the heart of its budget approach and they “will not add to the cost of employing people”.

“We are committing ourselves to a progressive approach ... which hit poorer income households the hardest,” he added.

Figures produced by the party “exceed the government’s taxation targets without including a residential property tax”, the TD said.

He denied the document is a “template for an easy budget”, saying it is fair and progressive.

FF’s spokesman on public expenditure Sean Fleming added: “The planned €550m cut to the capital budget is too deep and we are proposing an extra €150m in capital spending.

“We believe overall social protection expenditure can be reduced without cutting payment rates and we are urging the Government not to touch child benefit.

“We also propose a target of additional savings of €350m across public sector pay.”