Finance Bill reinforces budget misery

The 2012 Finance Bill, published today, reinforces the misery, inequality, and lack of social responsibility of the present government according to Workers Party president Michael Finnegan.

“Last December’s budget” said Mr Finnegan “was a despicable attack on the poorest and most vulnerable sections of Irish society. In particular the government targeted large families, carers, single parent families and the unemployed.”

“Budget 2012 took money from the poor and the needy to pay international financiers for the greed and mistakes of Irish millionaire bankers and speculators. This budget is destroying the future hopes of thousands of people and in extreme cases the budget is directly responsible for premature death through fuel poverty, lack of access to appropriate medical care and as a major contributory cause of suicide”.

This country needs jobs. We need hundreds of thousands of jobs. At this stage even the IMF and the international ratings agencies like Standard and Poor’s recognise this fact. Yet neither the budget nor today’s Finance Bill in any way helps to create or stimulate those jobs. In fact by taking money out of the pockets of the least well off the budget further weakened the domestic economy leading directly to job losses in both the services and manufacturing sectors.”

“To add further insult to injury the Finance Bill provides extra tax relief for a select band of very highly paid staff in foreign owned multinational companies. This is a truly shocking amendment to the income tax regime, especially as all unbiased economic commentators are urging the government to increase the tax rate on the excessive high earners in this country with a third tax band. Multinational companies already receive massive benefits from the Irish taxpayer. The IDA grant aids them to establish here. The government then imposes a nominal corporation tax rate of 12.5% and accepts an actual rate on average of half that. Furthermore the government turns a blind eye to the blatant transfer-pricing scams in which many of the multinational companies engage”.

“This finance bill” concluded Michael Finnegan “shows conclusively that this government has totally abandoned the working class in this country. It is a disgrace and I ask every member and supporter of the Labour Party to pressurise their TDs and in particular their ministers to forsake their Merks and Perks and stand up for the interests of the thousands of people who voted for them and invested hope in them in the 2011 general election”.

Issued: Wed 8th Feb 2012

Peace, Work, Democracy and Class Politics