Tuesday 12 November 2019

Two faces of the party: North and South

Mary Lou McDonald at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke
Mary Lou McDonald at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke

Among the examples of so-called Sinn Féin "hypocrisy" are issues such as property tax, water charges and the public sector.

Property Tax:

Households in the North pay an average of €950 - more than three times the average bill in the Republic. Sinn Féin TDs have insisted they will abolish property tax if they enter Government.

Water Charges:

Sinn Féin TDs say they will abolish water charges in the Republic but maintain the public utility Irish Water.

But in the North, tens of thousands of water meters have been installed. Sinn Féin claims to have blocked the introduction of full charges by the British government, however charges are at present rolled into domestic rates.

Public Sector:

In 2010, a two-year pay freeze was imposed on public servants earning over €25,000 in the North.

The Stormont House Agreement pledges to cut 20,000 civil servant and public sector positions over the next four years.

Taxes:

Sinn Féin last week proposed to introduce a wealth tax and a third rate of tax which will see an additional 7pc placed on all incomes of over €100,000.

Education:

Up North, the party has said schools will likely see the loss of 500 teaching posts and 1,000 non-teaching posts due to budget cuts. Down south, it has hammered the Labour party over education cuts.

Irish Independent

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