Friday 23 February 2018

Delay water charge refunds and tax cuts to help health service and housing - Brendan Howlin

Brendan Howlin
Brendan Howlin

Kathy Armstrong

Refunding water charges should be delayed so the money can be invested in our health system, Brendan Howlin has said.

The Labour Party leader also said that he feels tax tax cuts should be avoided in the next budget so the Government can effectively tackle the housing crisis.

Speaking at his party's think-in in Athy, Co Kildare today, Mr Howlin said the money designated for water charge refunds could be better used helping up the HSE's €300 million overspend.

He said: "Those repayments have to be made, but I don't think anybody would object to them being repayed next year rather than this year if that money is required to sustain our health services through November and December."

Read More: Cowen name is no obstacle to my career - I owe my start to Brian

Mr Howlin also said he feels that slashing taxes next year isn't a good idea and he said that Labour will propose an alternative Budget 2017.

He said: "Our priority is to improve public services, I don’t think there is space for tax reductions.

"Income tax reductions are so expensive that the impact on the individual is tiny.

"So the notion of giving individuals the equivalent amount of a cup of coffee a week, rather than investing in housing or in health or in infrastructure, would be a very big mistake.

"Whatever resources we have, we will devote entirely to improvement s in public services and rebuilding our infrastructure."

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