Labour Blog

Labour Blog

Labour launches €2.8b budget package

Posted on April 02, 2009 at 07:17 PM

Building a new, better and fairer future

Today the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD, Finance Spokesperson Joan Burton TD and Senator Alan Kelly, our Euro candidate for Ireland South launched Labour's pre-Budget submission.

Speaking at the press conference Deputy Gilmore said the €2.8b budget package contained "detailed proposals setting out the crucial steps we believe must be taken in this budget if the economy is to be turned round" adding that the budget must be fair and support jobs.

"I have a number of concerns about the government's intentions in regard to next week. I am concerned that they will not take any significant measures to address the jobs crisis. I am also concerned that those on low and middle incomes are again going to be the primary target of the government."

Sen Alan Kelly and Dep Eamon Gilmore

Deputy Burton said: "These adjustments must be achieved fairly. Those who have most and who earn most will have to pay most. Those on middle-incomes will have to shoulder some of the burden. Those on lower incomes and social welfare who are struggling to balance their household budgets must be protected insofar as possible. We need to boost demand, not pick the pockets of low-income families."

Some of the key proposals in our pre-Budget submission include:

Job submission

  • A new National Development Plan should be drawn up with immediate priority being given to programmes with the greatest impact on job protection or job creation. These would include school buildings and critical infrastructure such as broadband.
  • The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance should be revised so that unemployed people can avail of the scheme after three months of losing their job (currently 2 years).
  • A 'tax-back' scheme for people who have lost their jobs and wish to return to third level should be introduced.

Public expenditure - doing more with less

  • Abandoning the decentralisation programme.
  • Increasing Dail sitting days by 50 per cent, Oireachtas expenses should be vouched. Payments made to independent Deputies and Senators under the Leader's Allowance must be accounted for in the same manner as for political parties.

Taxation: fairness and reform

  • A new 48% tax rate should be introduced for those earning over €100,000.
  • A cap should also be placed in the Artists exemption at €75,000, with a facility for averaging incomes over a number of years.
  • The existing system which allows tax exiles to avoid paying a variety of taxes should be greatly restricted.

There are many more detailed proposals available in our submission which you can download from the 'Our Ideas' section of the website as well as reading Eamon's full statement from our media centre. There are also photographs from the press conference on our Flickr photostream.

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