Michael Noonan today sacrificed the workers and families of this country on the high altar of property speculators and the super-rich, said Workers Party President, Michael Finnegan.
Mr. Finnegan said that Minister Noonan was, like Minister Howlin on Monday, trying to bewilder the public behind a fog of newspeak while at the same time putting his hand deep into their pockets.
“The €100 household charge; the 2% increase in VAT, the immediate excise increases on fuel; the increased carbon tax and the savage hike in car tax all penalise families and particularly punish communities”, said Mr Finnegan.
“It is nonsensical for the Minister to claim that his focus is job creation when he is marauding through workers’ disposable income like a 21st century Genghis Khan.
"While we welcome the exclusion of those earning less than €10,000 annually from the ravages of the Universal Social Charge, we must point out that most people in this category are part time workers who were severely mugged yesterday by Minister Howlin in changes to the rules governing Jobseekers’ Allowance.
“Minister Noonan’s announcements on the taxation regime for property owners, and the wheelers and dealers in the property market, show that this coalition is as much in thrall to the speculator culture as was their Fianna Fail led predecessors. It is historically proven that all tax reliefs and other incentives to home buyers are immediately assimilated by the developer to increase his margins and thus maximise profits. It is deplorable that while the minister is fleecing families to raise €1.6 billion in taxes he is quite happy that NAMA write off €40 billion owed by a coterie of wealthy and influential individuals. If these people were made to pay their lawful debts then all these tax increases and cutbacks to services could be avoided.”
The Workers Party President said the budget was a 100% Fine Gael Tory manifesto and if there was any Labour Party input at all it must have been in crafting the clichés and rosy language of the document because it contained not a single scintilla of the promised fairness, equality and social justice promised by Mr. Gilmore and his colleagues before last February's election.