News & Media

Time to revisit Budget 2020

11 January 2020

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Labour Party Leader says Passing of UK Withdrawal Bill by House of Commons is an Opportunity to revisit Budget 2020

The Leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD, has called on the Government to extend social welfare increases to all pensioners and other groups in light of the Withdrawal Bill passing through the House of Commons.

Brendan said: “With the passing of the Withdrawal Bill, the threat of a hard Brexit in 2020 is low. As the Government used this excuse to deny cost of living increases, this decision should now be revisited.”

Deputy Howlin said that Minister Donohoe’s decision to amend the USC thresholds indicated that further Budget changes were possible.

He continued: “The reality is that the Government used the possibility of a hard Brexit to deny affordable changes in Budget 2020 to people reliant on social welfare. I welcome the increase in the minimum wage, albeit delayed and inadequate, and I welcome the USC changes. But clearly the Government could go further.

“What I don't understand is why the same Government that is celebrating projected economic growth of 4% for next year refuses to make modest increases in core social welfare payments. The Brexit excuse has passed for this year at least. Neither Minister Donohoe or Minister Doherty have any excuse not to act and they should do so now. The cost of living is rising, and the least the Government should do is to make sure that those on low fixed incomes are not left behind.”