Labour is serious about safeguarding the public finances and continuing to grow the economy. Now is not the time for big tax giveaways, with nearly 4,000 children in homelessness and a million people waiting for a health appointment. Labour is committed to focusing available resources on the most important issues: housing and healthcare.
Labour's focus for the economy and public finances will be:
- Stopping the waste of public money through greater transparency and oversight
- Reducing the cost of living through affordable housing and better healthcare, education and childcare
- Improving wages and job security
- Expanding the proportion of working age people in the labour market
- Dealing with Brexit and trade
- Promoting new technology and innovation
- Promoting medium-sized indigenous enterprise
- Promoting sustainable jobs in towns and less developed regions
- Providing certainty for business about regulation
You can read our full analysis here: https://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/labour_economic_and_fiscal_policy_ge2020.pdf
Labour will lower income tax and USC in line with inflation, so that pay rises are not eroded by tax. This will cost €200 million/year.
Labour will increase taxes on non-residential property, shares, very high incomes, sugar, plastics, fossil fuels and e-cigarettes. This will bring in €400 million/year.
The net effect will be a small increase in tax revenue of €200 million/year. (The cumulative effect will be €3 billion more for public spending over five years).
In contrast, Fine Gael will cut public spending by €8.6 billion over five years, with most of the benefit going to the top 20%. Fianna Fáil is proposing €5.2 billion of cuts to public spending, with significant tax cuts for the wealthy. Sinn Féin is proposing €7.2 billion of tax cuts AND €11.5 billion of tax increases, which would recklessly endanger the economy and unbalance the tax system.
In 2021, Labour will:
- Create a €16 fund from state assets, the European Investment Bank and credit union investments (e.g. €4bn from NAMA, €5bn from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund)
- Allocate €1 billion to Health (€800 million current plus €200 capital)
- Allocate all carbon tax revenues (c.€400m) to climate action: home insulation, public transport, sustainable jobs
- Increase Pensions and Social Protection by €5/week every year (cost €360m)
- Keep the Pension Age at 66 (cost €250m)
- Invest in Education (cost €140m )
- Invest in Childcare (€60m)
- Restore pay and allowance in Defence (cost €20m)
- With €200m available for other measures
A two-page summary of Labour's spending proposals is here: https://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/labour_manifesto_key_points_and_spending_plans.pdf