Monday 20 November 2017

Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil in war of words over 'alternative budget'

Senior Sinn Féin politicians today lashed out at Fianna Fáil

Pearse Doherty and Gerry Adams at The Davenport Hotel today for The Sinn Fein Alternative Budget 2017 launch (PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN)
Pearse Doherty and Gerry Adams at The Davenport Hotel today for The Sinn Fein Alternative Budget 2017 launch (PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN)
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A war of words has erupted between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin over their respective roles in the upcoming Budget.

Senior Sinn Féin politicians today lashed out at Fianna Fáil over its failure to produce a so-called ‘alternative budget’ ahead of next week’s announcement.

But Fianna Fáil hit back, pointing out that Sinn Féin held the finance ministry in the North where is there is no functioning budget.

The pre-budget squabble between the two main opposition parties comes as Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe holds his final meetings with ministers ahead of Tuesday’s Budget.

Sinn Féin’s alternative budget proposes a seven per cent tax on incomes above €100,000, as well as a €400 tax on second homes.

The party also wants to increase the VAT rate on hotels from 9pc to 13.5pc, while it has promised to scrap the property tax if in government.

In relation to spending, the party wants to increase social welfare rates in line with inflation. However, other payments will go further, the party says.

The party has pledged to deliver 10,000 social homes and 4,500 affordable homes..

Speaking at the launch at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin City, Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson said that his party is the only opposition party to deliver a fully costed alternative budget.

In fact, the Labour party will outline its proposals tomorrow.

Mr Doherty told reporters that Fianna Fáil, unlike his party, is not producing such an alternative budget.

"As for Fianna Fáil’s antics, like seriously, if this was Sinn Féin, you would be going through us with a horse and cart,” Mr Doherty said.

The Donegal TD added that Fianna Fáil is coming up with demands “every single day” but "they have the luxury of saying all these things and then they don’t produce an alternative budget.”

The comments were echoed by party leader Gerry Adams.

"I look forward to seeing Fianna Fáil’s alternative budget,” he said.

Reacting to the criticism, Fianna Fáil’s Housing spokesperson Barry Cowen said he will not take a lecture from Sinn Féin.

"What I would say is, they hold the ministry for finance in the North and they can’t bring forward a budget, they couldn’t bring forward a budget for how long now? So I don’t hold much credibility for them when it comes to alternative budgets."

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News